Can a slouched posture affect your breathing?

The answer is yes, especially in those individuals that have preexisting conditions such as asthma or populations at higher risk for breathing ailments such as smokers.


During a normal breath the chest should expand allowing the lungs to fill with air. When an individual has rounded shoulders and a forward head position muscle groups in the front of the neck and the chest tighten, which limits how much chest expansion can occur. This can increase resistance when breathing and decrease diaphragm function. This leads to a change from the normal deep breathing to short shallow breathing.


The additional problem is that when the diaphragm has decreased function the accessory muscles have to work harder when breathing. The accessory muscles for breathing are the same muscle groups that are already tight and possibly fatigued due to forward posture. With everything that we do leading us down the road of a sedentary lifestyle with increased sitting and tendency to a forward posture a focus needs to be made towards better posture and function to prevent these changes from affecting our lives on a daily basis.


David J Stevens, DC, ICCSP

Seneca Chiropractic & Family Wellness


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