Skip to content Skip to navigation

Elizabeth Samuels

Slow deep breathing has been performed in ‘mind-body’ practices for centuries and is believed to bring mental health benefits. Due to the emergence of mental health as a public health concern, slow deep breathing is becoming more widely used in western society. Literature is growing in this area. Recent studies have shown that it can be used as an autonomic way to control physiological functions.

The aim of this research was to investigate the effects of slow deep breathing at extreme altitude in moderate trait anxious females. A repeated measures experimental design was used whereby participants performed submaximal exercise in a normobaric chamber set at 10% oxygen (5800m altitude). During exercise, anxiety was induced in the form of a mental maths test and falsely being informed that altitude was increasing. Prior to exercise, either slow deep breathing (six breaths per minute) or normal breathing took place in the chamber. Cardiopulmonary activity, subjective anxiety scores and exercise duration were recorded. It was found that in the slow deep breathing trial, minute ventilation and oxygen saturation significantly increased. There was a mean increase in exercise duration following slow deep breathing. However, this difference was insignificant. There was a bigger difference between exercise duration in those who had higher trait anxiety and baseline state anxiety. Those who had higher trait and state anxiety had a bigger increase in exercise following slow deep breathing compared to normal breathing. This implies that slow deep breathing is more effective at extreme altitude for those who are more anxious. This research suggests that slow deep breathing could significantly improve submaximal exercise performance at extreme altitude in high trait anxious females.


'19 Diploma in Professional Studies


'19 Philips Lighting - User Experience Researcher