Proper Breathing and how it affects posture


Proper breathing plays a significant role in correcting a person’s posture. According to a blog called the Breath Effect, “People with poor posture (rounded shoulders, tight pectoral muscles, forward heads) tend to have trouble establishing a good breathing pattern.” The most obvious effect that bad posture plays on your breathing is that you get too used to shallow breathing, which can cause issues long term.

How can proper breathing improve posture? Here are 5 ways:

  • Proper breathing engages the core muscles. Proper breathing involves diaphragmatic breathing, which engages the diaphragm, a large muscle located between the chest and abdomen. When you breathe correctly, your diaphragm contracts and moves downward, which activates the deep abdominal muscles and the muscles of the pelvic floor. This can also prompt your body into the correct sitting or standing position in order to allow the breath. These core muscles are important for maintaining good posture as they provide stability and support to the spine, pelvis, and surrounding muscles.

  • Proper breathing promotes relaxation. Stress and tension can cause muscle tightness, leading to poor posture, which shallow breathing does nothing but make worse. Deep, diaphragmatic breathing can help to relax the muscles, especially those in the neck, shoulders, and chest, which are commonly affected by stress-related tension. When these muscles are relaxed, it can help release any tension that may be pulling your body out of alignment and improve your posture.

  • Proper breathing enhances body awareness. Conscious breathing can improve body awareness, which is essential for maintaining good posture. As you focus on your breath, you become more mindful of your body and its alignment. This increased awareness can help you identify and correct any postural imbalances, such as slouching or rounding of the shoulders, and make necessary adjustments to improve your posture.

  • Proper breathing facilitates proper movement patterns. Breathing is closely linked to movement. When you breathe correctly, it can help facilitate proper movement patterns, including those involved in maintaining good posture. For example, when you inhale, your ribcage expands and your spine naturally elongates, promoting an upright posture. When you exhale, your diaphragm relaxes, allowing your abdominal muscles to engage, which can help support the spine and maintain a more upright posture.

  • Proper breathing increases lung capacity. Poor lung capacity can affect your breathing pattern and posture. Shallow breathing can cause the muscles in the chest and shoulders to become tight, which can lead to rounded shoulders and a hunched posture. Proper breathing techniques, on the other hand, can help increase your lung capacity, allowing you to take deeper breaths and avoid shallow chest breathing, which can positively impact your posture.

In conclusion, proper breathing can help correct posture by engaging the core muscles, promoting relaxation, enhancing body awareness, facilitating proper movement patterns, and increasing lung capacity. Incorporating diaphragmatic breathing into your daily routine and being mindful of your breathing can contribute to improved posture and overall musculoskeletal health. It’s important to note that if you have any specific posture or health concerns, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for individualized advice and guidance. If you are needing to improve your posture and don’t know where to start, consulting your chiropractor is a great way to begin. A chiropractor can give you ideas for stretches to do at home, in addition to their treatments.



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