How Does Deep (diaphragmatic) Breathing Affect Blood Oxygen Levels?
1) It's inaccurate to equate "deep breath" and "diaphragmatic breath". The diaphragm gets activated first and foremost when you take a breath. Diaphragm movement accounts for about 70 - 80% of your inspiratory capacity (i.e. the biggest amount of air you can possibly inhale). So, when you take a normal breath (i.e. not especially deep, but how you normally breathe when you're not under stress and you're not consciously thinking about it), only the diaphragm is involved. When you take a deep breath, first your diaphragm moves, and when that's not enough, the intercostal muscles expand your rib cage, and if you want to breathe in even deeper, you bring the muscles in your abdomen and your neck into the action. 2) Assuming you have healthy lungs and you are breathing normal air (i.e. 79% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.06% carbon dioxide), taking deep breaths won't affect your blood oxygen levels very much at all. Under those conditions, 97 -100% of hemoglobin in your blood is saturated with oxygen, constantly. In a typical breath, you breathe in 21% oxygen, and you exhale ~20% oxygen - there's very little room for extra oxygen in your blood. If you take a deep breath only once every 15 - 30 Continue reading >>