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  • Foundation for Airway Health

How Posture and Gait Affect Your Breathing

Updated: Jan 26




“Stand up straight,” “Don’t slouch,” and “ Sit up Straight!” are familiar words of advice we often hear as children. They’re excellent words of advice, and not just because better posture and gait make you look better. Posture and gait play a significant role in our breathing.


How we stand, walk, and move affects the mechanics of our respiratory system, which affects the quality and efficiency of our breathing. Continue reading to learn how posture and gait impact breathing and how to optimize them for better respiratory health.


Posture and Breathing

Posture is the position we hold our body when standing, sitting, or lying down. Poor posture can lead to various health problems, including musculoskeletal pain, decreased range of motion, and reduced lung capacity. When we slouch or slump, our chest collapses, making it challenging for our lungs to expand and contract fully. As a result, we can experience shallow breathing, which can cause fatigue, headaches, and even anxiety.


Gait and Breathing

Gait is how we walk, including how we move our arms, legs, and torso. It can impact the way we inhale and exhale. For example, when we walk, we take more steps and breathe more deeply than when stationary, which can help increase lung capacity and improve blood oxygenation. Conversely, an abnormal gait pattern can lead to shallow breathing and decreased lung capacity.


Optimizing Posture and Gait for Better Breathing

The good news is that we can improve our posture and gait for better breathing. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

● Stand up Straight

When standing, try to keep your shoulders back and your chest open. As a result, your lungs can expand, improving your breathing function.

● Sit Correctly

When sitting, ensure that your feet are flat on the ground, your back is straight, and your shoulders are relaxed. Avoid slouching or leaning forward, as this can compress your lungs and reduce breathing function.

● Walk Regularly

Walking is a great way to improve your gait and increase lung capacity. Try to walk at least 30 minutes daily, and focus on taking deep breaths as you walk.

● Exercise Regularly

Exercise is essential for maintaining good posture and improving gait. Choose exercises that strengthen your core, back, and leg muscles, as these are important for maintaining good posture and balance.


Help Us Promote the Benefits of Airway Health

Join The Foundation for Airway Health’s mission to ensure everyone understands how

breathing impacts health and development. Your donation allows us to spread the word

about the importance of breathing for overall health, conduct valuable research, and

ensure access to care.

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