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 medical facts:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- 6 breathing myths: Myths and superstitions about breathing and body oxygenation (prevalence: over 90%)
- Hyperventilation: Definitions of hyperventilation: their advantages and weak points
- Hyperventilation syndrome: Western scientific evidence about prevalence of chronic hyperventilation in patients with chronic conditions (37 medical studies)
- Normal minute ventilation: Small and slow breathing at rest is enjoyed by healthy subjects (14 studies)
- Hyperventilation prevalence: Present in over 90% of normal people (24 medical studies)
- HV and hypoxia: How and why deep breathing reduces oxygenation of cells and tissues of all vital organs
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
- Body oxygen in healthy: Results for the body-oxygen test for healthy people (27 medical studies)
- Body oxygen in sick : Results for the body-oxygen test for sick people (14 medical studies)
- Buteyko Table of Health Zones: Clinical description and ranges for breathing zones: from the critically ill (severely sick) up to super healthy people with maximum possible body oxygenation
- Morning hyperventilation: Why people feel worse and critically ill people are most likely to die during early morning hours
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 tissues
- Cell oxygen levels: How alveolar CO2 influences oxygen transport
- Oxygen transport: O2 transport is controlled by vasoconstriction-vasodilation and the Bohr effects, both of which rely on CO2
- Free radical generation: Reactive oxygen species are produced within cells due to anaerobic cell respiration caused by cell hypoxia
- Inflammatory response: Chronic inflammation in fueled by the hypoxia-inducible factor 1, while normal breathing reduces and eliminates inflammation
- Nerve stabilization: People remain calm due to calmative or sedative effects of carbon dioxide in neurons or nerve cells
- Muscle relaxation: Relaxation of muscle cells is normal at high CO2, while hypocapnia causes muscular tension, poor posture and, sometimes, aggression and violence
- Bronchodilation: Dilation of airways (bronchi and bronchioles) is caused by carbon dioxide, and their constriction by hypocapnia (low CO2)
- Blood pH: Regulation of blood pH due to breathing and regulation of other bodily fluids
- CO2: lung damage: Elevated carbon dioxide prevents lung injury and promotes healing of lung tissues
- CO2: Topical carbon dioxide can heal skin and tissues
- Synthesis of glutamine in the brain, CO2 fixation, and other chemical reactions
- Deep breathing myth: Ignorant and naive people promote the idea that deep breathing and breathing more air at rest is beneficial for health
- Breathing control: How is our breathing regulated? Why hypocapnia makes breathing uneven, irregular and erratic.
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* Illustration by Victor Lunn-Rockliffe
Or go back to Hyperventilation Causes
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