You ever been sitting at your computer reading emails or looking at socials when you notice your breathing is shallow? It happens to me all the time. Sometimes I catch myself unknowingly hold my breath. It’s a phenomenon known as “email apnea” or “screen apnea.” Definition: Shallow breathing or breath holding while doing email, or while working or playing in front of a screen. It seems like Eighty percent of us seem to have it.

Whether you are on your device, laptop, computer, it can affect us all. Not only does this increase stress levels, it impacts our attitude, our sense of emotional well-being, and our ability to work effectively.

How does this happen? When on our devices and computers, our posture is often compromised. Arms forward, shoulders forward, we sit in a position where it’s impossible to get a healthy, full inhale and exhale.  Further, anticipation is generally accompanied by an inhale — and email, texting, and viewing television shows generally includes a significant dose of anticipation.  Meanwhile, the full exhale rarely follows.

What’s the remedy?

Ergonomists offer helpful suggestions regarding desk/computer setup and posture tips. Breathing through the nose is a great start to improving health. It is also important that nose breathing improves the blood circulation and oxygen delivery throughout the body.

 

This is where we introduce the Buteyko technique. Dr. Buteyko observed that unhealthy people have noticeable bad breathing during rest. Bad breathing defined as breathing through the mouth, using the upper chest with a respiratory rate and volume greater than normal, rather than using the nose to fully inflate the lungs properly.

Shallow breathing are breeding grounds for asthma, rhinitis, anxiety, panic attacks, and sleep disorders.

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On the other hand, healthy people who have regular, effortless and quiet breathing during rest suffer less from these aliments. Their breathing is through the nose, which is key, driven by the diaphragm and with a normal respiratory rate and volume.

If you notice that you have email apnea, what can you do?

  1. Awareness

The next time you look something up on your smartphone, or catch yourself responding to a text or email, notice: Are you breathing or holding your breath? Are you aware of your whole body? Are you holding yourself stiffly or does your body feel relaxed?

  1. Breath Through Your Nose

It forces better air flow into our bodies by opening up your diaphragm which allows more air into our blood stream. Better breathing through the nose.

  1. Take A Break!

Get up once an hour for at least 5-10 minutes. Walk around and take a break. It will ultimately help with productivity and gives your body a chance to allow your muscles to receive more oxygen.

It all comes down to practice, practice, practice. Hope this helps. Happy Breathing!

All My Best,

The JimShow