Effects of alternate nostril breathing exercise on respiratory functions in healthy young adults leading stressful lifestyle

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Iffat Jahan https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0551-3609
Momtaz Begum https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4224-4906
Shahin Akhter https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4703-7623
Md. Zakirul Islam https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3153-1333
Nusrat Jahan https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8420-8196
Mainul Haque https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6124-7993


alternate nostril, nose, breathing exercise, yoga, pranayama, respiratory function, healthy young adults


Alternate nostril breathing (ANB) is one of the best and easiest breathing exercises (pranayama) of yoga that are good for health and physical fitness. ANB exercise has beneficial and therapeutic effects on respiratory function in both normal as well as diseased humans. This study was conducted with the objective of assessing the physiological effects of short-term ANB exercise on respiratory function in healthy adult individuals leading a stressful life. This prospective interventional study was conducted in the Department of Physiology, Chittagong Medical College (CMC), Chattogram, Bangladesh from July 2017 to June 2018. A total of 100 participants aged 18–20 years, studying in the first year in CMC, were included by using a simple random sampling method. Among them, 50 participants were enrolled in the experimental group. Age- and BMI-matched 50 participants constituted the control group. Height, weight were measured, and BMI was calculated. The participants of the experimental group performed ANB exercise over 4 weeks for 10 min/day. The control participants were neither trained nor allowed to practice nostril breathing during the whole study period. Respiratory parameters like forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1st second (FEV1), and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were measured by using a digital spirometer (Chest graph HI-101, Japan). Readings were taken in a healthy upright sitting posture in the control and experimental group initially and after 4 weeks. Student’s t-test was conducted by using SPSS for windows version-23. The mean value of FVC, FEV1, PEFR were significantly (P < 0.001) changed after the ANB exercise when compared to the values before breathing exercise. The results of this study suggest that respiratory function is significantly improved after the ANB exercise. Therefore, ANB can be recommended for increasing respiratory efficiency.

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