Drivers Beware:
Lumbar Support Can Be Harmful To Your Health!

 

The Problems with Traditional Diaphragmatic Breathing

bad posture
Figure E
Lowering of diaphragm from relaxation of transversus abdominis


With traditional diaphragmatic breathing, one is taught to focus on expanding the lower abdomen at the start of inspiration. This breathing technique actually restricts diaphragmatic breathing, besides causing other problems.

Expanding the lower abdomen at the start of inspiration relaxes the transversus abdominis (deep lower abdominals), resulting in a lowered position of the diaphragm and excessive shortening of the diaphragm (Figure E). This relaxation of the transversus abdominis also increases the compressive stress on the lower back.

 

figure f
Figure F
Raised position of diaphragm due to
proper activation of transversus abdominis. Note in particular the greater depth and expansion of the lower rib cage.

YogaBack breathing promotes a spontaneous co-activation of the transversus abdominis and diaphragm. Activation of the transversus abdominis results in a raised position of the diaphragm at the start of inspiration (Figure F). As the diaphragm descends, the transversus abdominis optimizes diaphragmatic breathing by preventing excessive shortening of the diaphragmatic muscle fibers. This inspiratory transversus abdominis muscle activity also improves the diaphragm's ability to lift the lower ribs, thereby expanding the lower rib cage.

This co-activation of the transversus abdominis and diaphragm reduces the fatigue and spinal compression from traditional diaphragmatic breathing. Learning this optimal diaphragmatic breathing technique is effortless with YogaBack's Sacral Support and Lower Thoracic Support.

References

Bouisset, S., and Zattara, M.: A Sequence of postural movements precedes voluntary movement. Neuroscience Letters, 22:263-270, 1981.

Bouisset, S., and Duchêne, J.-L.: Is body balance more perturbed by respiration in seating than in standing posture? NeuroReport, 5:957-960, 1994.

Branton, P.: The Comfort of Easy Chairs. Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, The Furniture Industry Research Association, 1966.

Branton, P.: Behaviour, body mechanics and discomfort. In Grandjean, E. (Ed.): Proceedings of the Symposium on Sitting Posture. London, Taylor and Francis, 1969, pp. 202-213.  

Cutler, W.B., Friedmann, E., and Genovese-Stone, E.: Prevalence of kyphosis in a healthy sample of pre- and postmenopausal women. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 72:219-225, 1993.

Decima, E.E., von Euler, C., and Thoden, U.: Intercostal-to-phrenic reflexes in the spinal cat. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 75:568-579, 1969.

De Troyer, A.: Mechanical role of the abdominal muscles in relation to posture. Respiration Physiology, 53:341-353, 1983.

Hodges, P. W., et al.: Contraction of the human diaphragm during rapid postural adjustments. Journal of Physiology, 505:539-548, 1997.

Knudsen, K.A.: A Textbook of Gymnastics, vol. one. London, Churchill, 1947.

Leanderson, R., Sundberg, J., and von Euler, C.: Role of diaphragmatic activity during singing: a study of transdiaphragmatic pressures. Journal of Applied Physiology, 62:259-270, 1987.

O’Gorman, H., and Jull, G.: Thoracic kyphosis and mobility: the effect of age. Physiotherapy Practice, 3:154-162, 1987.

O’Sullivan, P.B., et al.: The effect of different standing and sitting postures on trunk muscle activity in a pain-free population. Spine, 27:1238-1244, 2002.

Sandover, J., and Dupuis, H.: A reanalysis of spinal motion during vibration. Ergonomics, 30:975-985, 1987.

Xie, A., Takasaki, Y., Popkin, J., Orr, D., and Bradley, T.D.: Chemical and postural influence on scalene and diaphragmatic activation in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology, 70:658-664, 1991.

Xie, A., Takasaki, Y., and Bradley, T.D.: Influence of body position on diaphragmatic and scalene activation during hypoxic rebreathing. Journal of Applied Physiology, 75:2234-2238, 1993.

Zacharkow, D.: Posture: Sitting, Standing, Chair Design and Exercise. Springfield, Thomas, 1988.

Zacharkow, D.: ZACKBACK Sitting. Rochester, ZACKBACK International, 1998.

Zacharkow, D.: Women's driving posture: An overlooked health issue. Worldwide Spine & Industrial Rehabilitation, 1(2):5-9, 2001.

All site contents are Copyright 2002-2017
The YogaBack Company
P.O Box 9113, Rochester, MN 55903   
1-800-SITTING (1-800-748-8464)


  PRODUCTS:
[The YogaBack Company] [The YogaBack for Driving] [ZACKBACK Chair] [Posture Textbook]  
ORDER FORMS:   [YogaBack for Driving Order Form] [Posture Text Order Form]