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Have you tried an incentive spirometer? They're about fifteen dollars on Amazon. I got one recently to track (what I assume is) my lung volume to use as a possible indicator of covid, but after reading the directions it seems like the device is purpose made for your problem.

You practice breathing with this thing 4 times a day, ten breaths a session, and track the volume of your inhalations. In order to get the number to go up you need to take long, deep, and slow breaths.

It will give you a clear numerical result to track. 4 sessions a day, 10 breaths each, record your measurements, plug them into Excel, get an average going and work on driving it up.

I also feel like there's potentially a market for a digital incentive spirometer that could help people do these things. Especially if problems like this are somewhat common.






I came to the conclusion that poor breathing habits are somehow connected to poor posture, mainly of the neck and the ribcage. I've had some poor breathing habits myself and doing deep breathing exercises incorrectly actually messed me up even worse for about a week or so. Yeah, that wasn't fun at all but it went away eventually. In the end I ended up concentrating more on posture and that seemed to correct the breathing as well. I find myself sitting in a poor posture from time to time and notice the breathing becomes limited and shallow as well.

It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation. For years I had poor posture (typical nerd-neck) to the point where standing up straight I couldn't actually breathe properly so I slouched around everywhere instead. My chest and neck were too tight to fully inhale otherwise. I had to fix both at the same time.

How did you fix it? I'm going through that exact thing. I think I have to retrain myself to relax my chest and stomach muscles and breathe deeply at the same time, but it's super difficult and I can only do 2/3.

I got a bit fat and my wife suggested we got to the gym together (pretty much the first time ever for me, age 30+). I had no idea until she mentioned it, it creeps up on you.

Pilates/yoga were good for core strength and stretching. If you want to start at home Yoga by Adriene on YT is very beginner friendly. I was never a fan of cardio or strength training but I did a bit of that too (it was a gym with various classes and instructors).

Also got a dog, it's a great excuse for daily walks.

One day I realised I was actually resting my head on the headrest in the car and wasn't uncomfortable. Until then it'd never felt right and made my throat feel tight at the front. I still have a way to go though, I have back issues and you don't fix 15 years of bad posture in 3 years.

Edit: I'll add after reading the other reply, at the start it's a struggle just knowing what good posture is. It doesn't feel right and natural, because your version of natural has been modified. You don't know how it's meant to feel. I found that exercises which exhaust certain muscle groups helped a lot. They gave up some of their grasp and let other muscles work. After a really heavy workout sometimes my back felt looser and more mobile and this helped me learn how it could feel.


Stretches and mobility exercises. Then one has to be aware of bad/good posture when standing/walking/sitting/doing any activities basically: playing guitar or any instrument, typing on keyboard, etc. We learn to do it wrong and then it becomes second nature. I’ll be honest, what helped me most to be aware and able to change the perception of my posture was after smoking a small dose of pot, small enough not to get one high, maybe buzzed is a better word. I think it helps relaxing muscles - and with poor posture some muscles have to more work and are always tense - and then it helps the proprioceptive awareness.

Poor posture can be slowly changed and it is life changing, obviously worth it.

Surprisingly the tongue has some major effect on posture, especially on forward head posture. There are all sorts of tongue exercises that benefit breathing, posture and even the looks. Tongue should be basically resting behind top front teeth and slightly press up the palate. For exercises look up muscular imbalances and see if you identify any on your posture. But all things start at the feet though, if feet have a problem the whole chain up gets affected so pay attention to the whole body.


> I also feel like there's potentially a market for a digital incentive spirometer that could help people do these things. Especially if problems like this are somewhat common.

I wonder how accurate an app could get with movement detection if you lie down with your phone on your chest. Probably not very, but might be useful.


These are great ideas. I'll try to pass them on to design students.

I bet there are interesting subtle dynamics beyond rate. Maybe interesting to record the acoustics inside the spirometer.

What's the product model? Prescription digital behavior change??


I've imagined building a digital version. I think the big opportunity is in how relatively hard it is track progress on an analog scale. You have to watch the little indicator that you raise with your breath until it stops rising. You don't get an exact reading.

I imagine the digital version using a range finder at the top of the tube to calculate how high you raise the thing you're raising by breathing in and then calculate and report the volume of air you inhaled.

If you combine this with an app you've got a little product going. App can track progress over time. Show you some graphs. Remind you to use the spirometer.

Sell the digital spirometers to hospitals who sometimes give them to patients who have respiratory problems. Get some data to prove the digital version works better and then get insurance companies to cover it or buy it.


> incentive spirometer

I want to try this. If you're happy with yours can you link to it? (everything I'm seeing is either under $10 or over $20 so I'm not sure which way to go)


It seems either the price has gone down or I remembered incorrectly. This is the 8 dollar model I own.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000PAR7KQ

As for being happy with it - yeah pretty much. It's not like it's mind blowing or anything and I've not tried any others to compare it to, so take that for what it's worth, but it works.

I keep mine next to my desk and use it when I'm bored or need a moment to think. I tried following the recommend pattern of use in the instructions but didn't stick to it for very long. Now I just use it when the fancy strikes me.


That's great, thanks!

Also once you develop a history/baseline, you will quickly catch health conditions that affect your lung function and be able to quantify the effect.



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