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Posture and Health: Breathe for the brain

Having good posture isn't just a way to improve your reputation with mom, it's also important as it helps with your breathing.

At New Leaf Chiropractic & Wellness, we create custom care plan to help you with your posture so you can live a long, active life.

When it comes to how we breathe, many people think that this isn’t related to our posture. On the contrary, the way we breathe and our posture are related to each other. Having a good posture means you may be able to manage your breath properly. Being able to manage your breath gives you better vocal production when speaking. In addition to this, the way we breathe also affects how well we perform our daily exercise and movement. For athletes that often practice their sport and exercise, they may often have a sports chiropractor to aid them with their posture. Sports chiropractors are professionals in chiropractic care and may also provide you with advices to maintain a fit posture.

How does posture affect our breathing?

Breathing in requires additional muscle aid from your neck and collarbone along with our diaphragm. Our diaphragm separates the chest from the abdomen and serves as the main muscle for respiration. When we inhale contracts in to our abdominal and lift the ribs outward. As we exhale, our diaphragm relaxes and returns to its dome-shape. During sports exercises, our entire chest muscles pull the ribs to the center and squeeze air out of our body. People with poor posture may have trouble doing this and may get fatigued quickly than those with proper postures.

Those working in an office (or at home these days) and have to sit long hours daily may need to look at their posture. Proper posture must also be implemented as we sit because it may also affect your breathing. People who work long hours sitting may tend to slouch and have a forward head posture that may cause you to have breathing problems. A study done by Cailliet R and Gross L. in 1987, evaluated that forward head posture decreases your heart and lung capacity. Forward head posture is related to how your functional your lung capacity is. They concluded that forward head posture may add up to 30 pounds of abnormal weight to your spine, which then affects your lung capacity and decreasing it by up to 30 percent. Long term effects of improper lung capacity may lead to heart and blood vascular diseases.

People with exaggerated spine curves such as exaggerated lumbar curves, decreases the range of motion and shortens the lower back muscles. This then shortens the cruca of our diaphragm and limits the range of motion of the diaphragm in order to function properly. When our diaphragm has shorter range of motion, our breathing may be harder and may lower how much air we breathe in.

How to improve your posture

Improving your posture and acquiring a fit posture enables you to breathe properly. Plan how you should improve your posture think of why you are doing it. Exercises such as yoga or ergonomic chairs for work may aid you in your quest to achieve fit posture. Simple discipline for yourself may also benefit you in the long-run. Try to imagine that you have a stick planted on your back that you should lean back to in order straighten your neck and spine. Focus on keeping your head and spine aligned even when you are sleeping.

It’s also common for people to forget that they are practicing their posture. It may only take minutes to forget but having reminders to tell you to watch your posture may be beneficial. Try placing sticky notes on your desk to remind you of your posture. It may be difficult at first but being constantly reminded may keep you on the right track, and eventually you may end up with proper posture without you noticing it.

Eliminate activities that force you to practice your bad posture or slouching such as watching TV, playing on your phone, or sleeping on your stomach. After an exercise or a long tiring day at work, having a therapeutic massage to relax your muscles may loosen your joints. Practicing good posture may harden your joints and may make it harder for you to continue keeping up a good posture.

For office workers, if you can’t use an ergonomic chair, then you should try adjusting. Get a back cushion and place it on the back of your chair. This allows you to maintain your natural curve as you sit up straight. It also serves as another reminder for you because when you slouch, the cushion may eventually slip down and that’s when you have to fix your sitting position again. In addition to this, your legs should be at a 90 degree angle from your hips with both feet planted flat on the floor. Your legs and feet provide additional support to your body, while allowing you to maintain your position and comfort.

If you are still having trouble practicing a fit posture, then you should try seeking the aid of a sports chiropractor here in Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood. We are experts in proper posture, we can help you in your quest in realigning your spine. We also provide chiropractic care which may provide you with relief to support you in adjusting your posture.


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