Body composition variation following diaphragmatic breathing

  • BS Shaw
  • I Shaw
  • GA Brown
Keywords: Asthma, breathing retraining, overweight.


Overweight and obesity has been linked to an impaired pulmonary function. The incidence of overweight has grown to more than 1 billion people globally, possibly explaining the increased prevalence of asthma which has increased by ~47% in the last decade. As such, the aim of the study was to determine the effect of commonly prescribed diaphragmatic breathing training on the body composition of asthmatics. Forty-four sedentary, moderate persistent asthmatics were randomly assigned to either a non-exercising control (NE) group (n = 22) or diaphragmatic breathing (DB) group. The DB group trained three times weekly for eight weeks using inspiratory and expiratory training in a semi-recumbent position at varying inspiration: expiration ratios. Eight weeks of DB had a significant impact on body mass (p = 0.001), %BF (p = 0.001), fat mass (p = 0.001) and lean body mass (p = 0.009), while WHR (p = 1.000) and BMI (p = 0.134) did not significantly improve from the pre- to post-test. No significant changes were found in the body mass (p = 0.512), BMI (p = 0.087), %BF (p = 0.442), WHR (p = 0.303), fat mass (p = 0.857) and lean body mass (p = 0.635) of the NE group. These findings demonstrate the health benefits of diaphragmatic breathing in assisting in the prevention of obesity and especially reducing or preventing the accumulation of abdominal adipose tissue in moderate persistent asthmatics.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939