Do you have to wear a mask all day at work? Do you feel tired when you get home? This could be because wearing a mask for long lengths of time causes you to shallow breath. The results of shallow breathing is increasing your fatigue and breathlessness and also uses up more of your energy.
About 80% of the work of breathing is done by the diaphragm. After illness or general deconditioning like wearing of masks, your breathing pattern may be altered, with reduced diaphragmatic movement and greater use of neck and shoulder accessory muscles. Our bodies were not programed for shallow breathing.
The “breathing control” technique is aimed at normalising breathing patterns and increasing the efficiency of the respiratory muscles (including the diaphragm) resulting in less energy expenditure, less airway irritation, reduced fatigue, and improvement in breathlessness.
How to does breathing control work? You should sit in a supported position and breathe in and out slowly, preferably in through the nose and out through the mouth, while relaxing the chest and shoulders and allowing the tummy to rise. You should aim for an inhalation to exhalation ratio of 1:2. This technique can be used frequently throughout the day, in 5-10 minute bursts (or longer if helpful).
When you have your tea breaks and your lunch breaks try this breathing exercise to help your lungs breathe like they were programed to do. Make sure you do a few of these exercises when you have finished for the day and before you start work the next day.
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