The Importance of Proper Breathing: Practice These Breathing Techniques to Improve Posture and Ergonomics

Ever sit at your desk with your back straight, shoulders tense, and notice that you’re not breathing properly? Now that many people work from home, this happens all the time. However, the solution is simpler than you think.

Proper breathing is a moving force that changes your body. When you breathe right, you work your diaphragm and core muscles, which keep your back straight and strong.

In this article, you will learn about the essence of breathing and use practical techniques to enhance your posture and ergonomics. 

Importance of Proper Breathing

Proper breathing is crucial for several aspects of your well-being, and these are:

Reduced Back Pain

Shallow breathing can contribute to tension in the neck and shoulders, deepening bad posture and breathing problems. However, when you breathe correctly, your diaphragm engages, supporting the core muscles. This helps stabilize the spine and reduces the strain on the lower back

Higher Lung Capacity and Physical Performance

As you breathe in deeply, your lungs expand, letting more oxygen into your bloodstream. This oxygen is very important for health and the function of cells. In addition to improving lung capacity, it also improves physical performance, which makes activities like working long hours every week easier to handle.

Helps Manage Stress

From work pressures to personal challenges, stress can take a toll on your physical and mental health. That is because when you are stressed, your body enters a fight-or-flight response, causing rapid breathing. By consciously practicing deep breathing, you activate your body's relaxation response, which helps lower your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and calm your mind

Higher Energy Levels

Oxygen is one of the body's main energy sources. By practicing proper breathing, you optimize oxygen intake, fueling your cells more efficiently. This increased oxygen supply enhances metabolic processes, contributing to higher energy levels. 

Impacts of Improper Breathing

Improper breathing, similar to bad posture breathing, creates a domino effect. Being aware of these issues can improve your ergonomic experience and health in general.

Muscular Tension and Fatigue

As you take deep breaths, the oxygen you take in and the carbon dioxide you let outbalance each other out. When this balance gets out of control, your muscles don't get enough oxygen to do their job properly. When this happens, it can lead to a number of problems, such as:

  • Having muscles that are stiff or hurt
  • Getting tired easily, even for little things
  • A general feeling of being tired 

Weakened Respiratory Muscles

Proper breathing engages the diaphragm, a key respiratory muscle. But if your breathing is not regular, it can hurt some of your breathing muscles, like:

  • Intercostal Muscles: These muscles, located between the ribs, assist in expanding and contracting the chest during breathing
  • Abdominal Muscles: Inefficient breathing often means underutilizing the abdominal muscles, supporting the diaphragm

Poor Posture

How you breathe is connected to how you stand and sit. When you don't breathe properly, you might end up using the wrong muscles.

This is the reason why working long hours is bad for your health. Instead of your diaphragm doing most of the work, you might use smaller muscles that aren't designed for breathing. As a result, this can lead to:

  • Slouching: Leaning forward or hunching the shoulders because of weak breathing patterns
  • Rounded Back: The upper back curves instead of staying straight, affecting the natural spine shape
  • Discomfort: Feeling achy or uncomfortable, especially in the back and neck, due to the strain on the wrong muscles
  • Head Forward: Leaning your head forward can happen when your breathing is off, which throws your body out of alignment

Proper Breathing Techniques to Improve Posture and Ergonomics

When it comes to breathing, it's not just about staying alive; it can also help you stand tall and feel good. With that, here are some right breathing habits:

1. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is a technique that involves using your diaphragm, a muscle located below your lungs, to breathe deeply. Instead of shallow chest breathing, this method helps your diaphragm expand, which lets more oxygen into your lungs and makes breathing more efficient overall.

In turn, this can help lower stress, make you feel more relaxed, and improve your posture.

To practice how to do proper breathing, follow the steps below:

  1. You should look for a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down.
  2. Touch your chest with one hand and your stomach with the other.
  3. Inhale slowly through your nose, feeling your abdomen rise as your diaphragm expands.
  4. Slowly let out your breath through pursed lips, letting your stomach drop.

2. Ribcage Expansion

Many people tend to breathe shallowly, using only the upper part of their lungs, which can contribute to poor posture and discomfort. Ribcage expansion is a breathing technique focused on using the full capacity of your lungs by urging the outward movement of the ribcage during inhalation.

As a matter of fact, doing ribcage expansion is simple, and here's how you can do it:

  1. To begin, stand or sit up straight and let your shoulders hang down. 
  2. Place your hands on the sides of your ribcage, with your thumbs on your back and your fingers on your front. 
  3. As you inhale deeply, imagine your ribcage expanding and your hands moving away from each other. 
  4. Exhale slowly and let your ribcage return to its original position. 

3. Engage in Core Muscle Exercise

These exercises target the muscles in your abdomen, lower back, and pelvis, providing vital support for your spine. By strengthening your core, you create a stable foundation that helps retain an upright posture, reducing the risk of discomfort and strain.

To engage your core muscles, you can do some of the exercises below:


  1. Begin in a push-up position, resting on your forearms.
  2. From your head to your heels, keep your body going straight.
  3. Hold for as long as you are comfortable, engaging your core.

Paloff Presses

  1. To properly set up the cable machine, adjust it to chest height and then attach a pulley grip.
  2. Hold the attachment at chest height with both hands while standing sideways to the cable.
  3. Extend your arms and push the pulley away from your chest while bracing your core.
  4. Finish the rep by getting the pulley back towards your chest.

Leg Raises

  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight.
  2. Straighten your legs as you lift your legs toward the ceiling.
  3. Lower them slowly without touching the ground.

Bird Dog

  1. Start on your hands and knees.
  2. Stretch out your left leg and right arm forward. 
  3. Hold for a moment, then switch sides.


  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat.
  2. Actively lift your hips up toward the ceiling using your core and glutes.
  3. Hold briefly before lowering down.

4. Do Yoga Poses

Yoga is a great practice for improving posture, flexibility, and well-being. As it turns out, many yoga poses include deep breathing, which makes them a great way to improve your posture and work with your body.

Some yoga poses that can help improve your breathing and posture include:

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

  1. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Distribute weight evenly on both feet.
  3. Lift your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend your arms by your sides.

Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

  1. Begin on your hands and knees.
  2. Lift hips towards the ceiling, straightening legs.
  3. Keep hands shoulder-width apart and heels grounded.

Child's Pose (Balasana)

  1. Kneel on the mat, sit back on heels, and extend your arms forward.
  2. Rest your forehead on the mat and relax your entire body.

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

  1. Step feet wide apart, and extend arms parallel to the floor.
  2. Turn one foot outward and bend the knee, keeping the other leg straight.
  3. Gaze over the front hand.

Cat-Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)

  1. Start on hands and knees, wrists under shoulders, and knees under hips.
  2. Take a deep breath in, arch your back (cow), and lift your head.
  3. Exhale, round your back (cat), tucking your chin to your chest. 

5. Join Breathing Workshops and Classes

If you want to improve your breathing techniques, consider joining breathing workshops and classes. These classes are led by experts who can guide you through diverse breathing exercises and provide personalized feedback.

During these classes, you'll learn different techniques, gain a deeper sense of the importance of proper breathing, and have the chance to connect with others who share the same goals.

With that in mind, follow this process to join breathing workshops:

  1. Search Locally or Online: Look for workshops in your local community or explore online platforms for virtual classes. When looking for structured breathing programs, think about instructors or schools with a good reputation.
  2. Read Reviews and Recommendations: Check reviews or seek advice from friends, family, or online communities. For the best results, look for workshops that focus on real-world applications and getting good feedback
  3. Choose Beginner-Friendly Classes: Opt for classes that cater to beginners if you are new to breathing techniques. Beginner-friendly workshops typically provide a solid foundation for understanding and practicing.
  4. Check Schedules and Commitment Levels: Assess the schedule and time commitment required for the workshops or classes. If the times work for you, make sure you can commit to the whole program.
  5. Verify Instructor Qualifications: Verify the qualifications and expertise of the workshop or class instructor. To give you good advice, make sure they know a lot about breathwork, posture, or ergonomics.
  6. Participate Actively and Ask Questions: Actively participate in the workshops by practicing the techniques taught. Remember that you should use positivity to ask questions or get more information about any part of breathing.
  7. Practice Regularly Between Sessions: Implement what you learn by practicing regularly between workshop sessions. Consistent practice reinforces the benefits and helps integrate proper breathing into your daily life.

Practice Proper Breathing Habits for Improved Health

Breathing is not just about survival; it is a fundamental aspect of your overall health and well-being. So, take a moment to pay attention to your breath, practice deep breathing regularly, and witness how it will improve your posture in 30 days. 

Have you discovered any new proper breathing techniques for posture? Share your thoughts in the comments and keep up to date!




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