Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

The impact of breathing retraining and high intensity intermittent training on exercise respiratory symptoms.

Stephens, James (2023) The impact of breathing retraining and high intensity intermittent training on exercise respiratory symptoms. Master of Science by Research (MScRes) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.103273) (KAR id:103273)


Purpose: The aim of this research was to determine the effect of breathing pattern retraining (BPR) and high intensity intermittent exercise (HIIT) on exercise respiratory symptoms during exercise.

Methods: Seven participants (age 36 ± 14 years (mean ± SD); body mass 69.5 ± 9.78 kg; stature 1.67 ± 10.11 m) were randomly assigned to either the HIIT and BPR group (2 female and 2 male), or just the BPR group (2 female and 1 male). Participants all reported exercise respiratory symptoms prior to their initial laboratory visit, and then continued to show signs of thoracic dominant breathing and/or thoracic/abdominal asynchrony during their initial testing. Initial testing included VO2 max, basic spirometry, a Nijmegen questionnaire and modified Borg breathlessness scale in order to track the symptoms the participants' experienced over a six-week period. The HIIT group completed two laboratory-based cycling sessions per week, as well as the standardised BPR which both groups completed twice a day for at least 10 minutes. The BPR involved the participants practising a correct breathing pattern (which was described during the initial laboratory visit) and progressively introducing core-based exercises to increase the difficulty of maintaining the breathing pattern.

Results: A mixed model analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that at the p <0.05 significance level there was no statistical improvements in the participants’ VO2 max and lung function scores (VO2 max, p = 0.195; FEV1, p = 0.881; FVC, p = 0.124) at the end of the study. However, there was a significant improvement in both groups’ Nijmegen

questionnaire and modified Borg breathlessness results, although there was not a significant difference between the two interventions (p = 0.365; p = 0.270). Conclusions: BPR may be an effective way of improving exercise respiratory symptoms for people with breathing pattern disorder, according to the perceived outcomes reported by participants in this study. However, this study does not show that the addition of HIIT further alleviated symptoms


Item Type: Thesis (Master of Science by Research (MScRes))
Thesis advisor: Dickinson, John
Thesis advisor: Meadows, Steve
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.103273
Uncontrolled keywords: "Breathing Pattern Retraining" AND "Breathing Patter Disorder" AND "dysfunctional breathing" AND respiratory AND Asthma
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure > Sports sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2023 14:10 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2023 11:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Stephens, James.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.