We're wondering just how many of our readers have ever heard of a U.K. company called Shock Absorber? We're betting, not many, at least among our U.S.-based subscribers. However, we're also betting that could soon change, thanks to the Bounce-o-meter.
According to the company website, Shock Absorber was launched in 1995 after research by Edinburgh University found that "wearing a sports bra during exercise reduced breast movement by up to 74 percent â€“ delaying long term sagging." With that in mind, the result by the company was a collection of sport bras said to be designed to accommodate varied support needs. The company also stated that Shock Absorber bras were different because they not only focused on cup size, but also on back size and activity levels. According to the website, all that bounce-measuring and â€“modifying took the Shock Absorber brand to the top of the sports bra charts, making it the best-selling sports bar in Europe and allowing it to win the Sports Category at the U.K. Lingerie Awards in 2003 for the fifth consecutive year.
In 2004, to help the company take it one better, the company commissioned the Shock Absorber Breast Movement Study, done by the U.K.'s University of Portsmouth.
"The study was a big step up from previous research, which only monitored smaller cup sizes, only looked at the effects of vertical movement, only analyzed one stride during running, and then only up to 12km/h (7.5 mph)," according to the Shock Absorber website.
"The Shock Absorber study monitored sizes up to 36G and analyzed five strides at each speed for all subjects, in all conditions. Most importantly it analyzed movement in 3D â€“ vertical, side to side, and forwards and backwards. The findings of this study have had a great impact on the design of the Shock Absorber range to cope with 3D movement, as well as defining the Support Level of each bra for the required activities. All in all, it gave us a lot of insight into what would give you even greater comfort during exercise."
All the above is fine and dandy, and we know women reading this are probably giving it a loud standing ovation. But â€“ here's where you want to pay attention -- the study would have remained just a study, and Shock Absorber just another company making quality sport bras if someone in the marketing department hadn't decided this was a perfect time to engage Flash technology, all in the name of entertainment â€¦ errâ€¦ science (Oh, my, we would have given anything to have been in that marketing meeting).
Shock Absorber spoke of its civic duty when it came to sports bars on the company website: "People often spend a lot of time and effort to get the right footwear for exercise, yet studies show that 73 percent of women who exercise regularly do not wear sports bras. As the number one sports bra manufacturer, we felt it our duty to educate women on the importance of wearing the correct support. And what better way than showing you exactly how breasts move when women run - from cup sizes A to G."
Yessiree, you will see, in live Flash action on the company's "bounce-o-meter" exactly how various sizes of breasts move while running. As the company says, -- and who are we to argue? â€“ the bounce-o-meter "brings to life the way in which breasts bounce during exercise. You can see the effect and difference of movement between running naked, with a T-shirt bra and with a Shock Absorber bra."
We've gabbed long enough. We know you are dying to point-and-click your way to the bounce-o-meter live-action, so here you go. Be warned, however, that this might not be a site safe to visit at work if your boss doesn't have a sense of humor -- www.shockabsorber.co.uk/bounceometer/shock.html
When we first pointed-and-clicked, inspired by a reference from our friends at The Piton we, ummm, got properly bounce-metered into wide-eyed wonder and amazement. Trust us when we say, a description in writing just won't do the site justice. Men and women alike seem to find the site amusing, at worst, and entertaining AND educational at best.
Say what you will about the site, it is hard to argue the marketing brilliance. Whoever thought of the idea deserves a promotion since the word has bounced around the globe and back. We surfed hundreds of blogs and online forums, all going silly over the bounce-o-meter; we read numerous postings from women essentially parroting the following post on one blog:
"Funny thing is, this is ridiculously good marketing ... I'd never heard of them before but the next time I'm shopping for sports bras, I will definitely check out a Shock Absorber sports bra. The true test will be if their product actually delivers what it promises from the computer simulation. Anyone here own any of these bras? What size are you and what support levels have you tried? Any complaints? Do they machine-wash well? Are they durable?"
And while we at SNEWSÂ® quietly applaud Shock Absorber for the dogged pursuit of science in the name of breast support and comfort, we are left with one disturbing thought: Please tell us that this company will NEVER contemplate a similar study and website treatment for men. That would just be wrong on so many levels!