Slouching and Bad Posture Cause Low Brain and Body O2
Slouching shoulders, while seemingly relaxing, leads to stress and tension in various muscles. Most of all, as any other bad posture, it causes chest breathing since the diaphragm becomes immobile. Since the diaphragm provides nearly maximum oxygenation of the arterial blood, slouching leads to reduces blood oxygen levels. It also stops lymphatic drainage of the lymph nodes from all organs located under the diaphragm. This is another vital function of the diaphragm.
Most of all, bad posture shoulders make breathing deeper and faster leading to chronic hyperventilation that causes low body-oxygen content, poor body oxygen test results and ... more slouching. What are the reasons?
Body O2 and slouching
|Body-Oxygen Level||Minute Ventilation*||Chance of slouching|
|Less than 20 s||Over 12 L/min||Likely|
|20-30 s||9-12 L/min||Possible|
|30-40 s||6-9 L/min||Almost impossible|
|>40 s||<6 L/min||Virtually impossible|
* Minute ventilation for a 70-kg person at rest
The clinical experience of over 150 Russian doctors shows that slouching intensifies breathing causing a lack of CO2 in the lungs and arterial blood. Since CO2 is a potent vasodilator and required for the Bohr effect, bad posture immediately reduces O2 levels in body and brain cells. This promotes any chronic disease since chronic diseases are based on tissue hypoxia. It is normal then that some people can experience chest pain, angina pain, exacerbations of digestive problems, heart palpitations and arrhythmias due to slouching. Hence, they should stop slouching their shoulders.
Since less than 10% of modern people have normal breathing parameters and over 40 s for the body oxygen test (see Homepage for clinical facts), it is not a surprise that most modern people have bad posture, and that slouching shoulders is a norm in public schools, universities, libraries, and other places. However, if you watch old movies and investigate old pictures and photos, you can notice that the people of those times had a good posture with no slouching naturally.
Furthermore, the problem is even worse in the sick, since their heavy breathing makes muscles even more tense and oxygen deficient. As a result, the sicker the person, the stronger the slouching. To stop the shoulders from slouching is easy with breathing retraining. At higher body-oxygen levels, correct posture becomes normal naturally.
Generally, people stop slouching when they get over 40 s for their morning CP. However, when a person with about 25-30 s has a bad posture, his breathing gets worse and the CP drops.
Conclusions. In order to stop slouching, one should learn diaphragmatic breathing and gradually change his or her unconscious breathing pattern. For more detail, visit the Section Learn with free Modules related to healthy lifestyle factors, simple techniques, and breathing exercises that increase brain and body oxygenation.
Reference pages: Breathing norms and the DIY body oxygen test:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
References: pages about CO2 effect:
- Vasodilation: CO2 expands arteries and arterioles facilitating perfusion (or blood supply) to all vital organs
- The Bohr effect: How and why oxygen is released by red blood cells in body tissues
- Nerve stabilization: Carbon dioxide has powerful calmative and sedative effects on brain neurons and nerve cells
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