Effect of controlled deep breathing on psychomotor and higher mental functions in normal individuals

Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. Jan-Mar 2015;59(1):41-7.

Abstract

Objective: The present study was conducted to assess the effect of controlled deep breathing on psychomotor and higher mental functions.

Methods: 100 normal healthy subjects (52 females and 48 males, age range - 18 to 25 years) participated in the study. Each subject acted as his or her own control. Six weeks course of controlled deep breathing i.e. 5 seconds of maximal inhalation followed by 5 seconds of maximal exhalation, once a day for ten minutes, six days a week was arranged. (i) Letter cancellation test (ii) Rapid fire arithmetic deviation test and (iii) Playing card test were conducted before and after six weeks of controlled deep breathing practice for evaluating psychomotor and higher mental functions.

Results: No significant gender difference was observed on comparing baseline readings between female and male subjects. After six weeks of controlled deep breathing practice letter cancellation test time significantly reduced (P<0.001), rapid fire arithmetic deviation test and playing card test scores (P<0.001) significantly improved. Letter cancellation test score didn't show improvement.

Conclusion: The results suggest that a short, simple breathing practice can be helpful in improving cognitive processes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Respiration*
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Young Adult