News Home & Design Bras Don't Actually Work, Says French Study By Melissa Breyer Editorial Director Hunter College F.I.T., State University of New York Cornell University Melissa Breyer is Treehugger’s editorial director. She is a sustainability expert and author whose work has been published by the New York Times and National Geographic, among others. our editorial process Melissa Breyer Updated June 05, 2017 Photo: kaarsten/ Shutterstock. Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices Countering everything we’ve ever been told about supporting the upper curves, a new study from France says we’ve got it all wrong. Wearing a bra does nothing to decrease back pain, and the support offered by a brassiere actually encourages the breasts to sag. Quelle horreur! As reported in The Local, a 15-year study led by Jean-Denis Rouillon, from the University of Besançon in eastern France, found that "bras are a false necessity.” "Medically, physiologically, anatomically — breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity. On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra," Rouillon, a sports science expert, told France Info radio. In a job presumably envied by many, Rouillon spent a decade and a half measuring the changes in breasts of hundreds of women using a slide rule and caliper at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Besançon. The participants were all between the ages of 18 and 35. Of the braless women, the researchers concluded that "on average their nipples lifted on average seven millimeters in one year in relation to the shoulders." A 28-year-old woman who took part in the study hasn't worn a bra for two years now, and doesn’t expect to go back. "There are multiple benefits: I breathe more easily, I carry myself better, and I have less back pain," she told France Info.