Wearing a bra on your own is no guarantee of being able to get a job, but it’s certainly not a bad thing, a study published in the British Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found.
The study, published in April by the American College of Occupation Medicine, surveyed 1,000 workers aged between 25 and 55 who had worked in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospice care in Britain.
The respondents were told about the findings and asked whether they had ever worn underwear on the job.
In most cases, they had.
But in a few cases, women were asked if they had worn panties while on the jobsite.
Only one in 10 respondents reported wearing underwear on a job site while in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
“It’s an occupational hazard that has been around for years, but now it’s becoming a bigger issue, because of the increased awareness around it,” said Dr. Helen Denniston, a professor of nursing at the University of Birmingham.
The British study is based on a large survey of nurses in the U.K. conducted in 2011 and 2012, with a follow-up survey that followed up in 2018.
More than a third of those surveyed said they had used the word “panty” to describe their underwear while on a work site.
About one-third of the women said they’d had to stop working at the workplace because of wearing underwear while doing the job, according to the study.
“Panties have been around, they’ve been worn, they’re not just a piece of cloth,” said Dennerton, who noted that there is a difference between a “panties-free workplace” and a workplace where there is no clothing.
The U.S. study is the largest to examine this question, with about 1,600 women who worked at nursing homes and assisted living homes.
It found that in addition to not wearing underwear, the women who said they used the term were also asked to disclose how often they were menstruating.
The researchers said that if the word was not used, that women might be reluctant to disclose that they were having periods.
Dennertons study also showed that a majority of the workers had reported that they had not worn underwear while at work in the previous year.
The majority of women who were asked about the use of the word, “pantry,” did not wear pants or had not used the words in the past year, the study found.
Women also reported not wearing their underwear in their work spaces because they felt uncomfortable, said Denny Smith, a clinical nurse in charge of nursing home research at the British Association of Nursing.
The association said it was a “very important” study and said the results confirmed what the organization had long known: “Pantry is not a word women associate with women, and it is not appropriate to wear a dress when at work.”