[Purpose] This study investigated the effects of forward head posture on forced vital capacity and deep breathing. [Subjects] Twenty-six subjects, divided into the two groups (normal and forward head posture groups), participated in this study. [Methods] Forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in 1 second were measured using respiratory function instrumentation that met the American Thoracic Society's recommendation for diagnostic spirometry. Accessory respiratory muscle activity during deep breathing was measured by electromyography. A Mann-Whitney test was used to compare the measure variables between the normal and forward head posture group. [Results] Forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in 1 second were significantly lower in the forward head posture group than in the normal group. Accessory respiratory muscle activity was also lower in the forward head posture group than in the normal group. In particular, the sternocleidomastoid and pectoralis major activity of the forward head posture group was significantly lower than that of normal group. Activities of the other muscles were generally decreased with forward head posture, but were not significantly different between the two groups. [Conclusion] These results indicate that forward head posture could reduce vital capacity, possibly because of weakness or disharmony of the accessory respiratory muscles.
Keywords: Breathing muscle activity; Forced vital capacity; Forward head posture.