Relaxed diaphragmatic breathing in biological feedback toolkit applied in Physical Education specialist training process


PhD, Associate Professor O.M. Shterz1
PhD, Associate Professor G.R. Shagivaleeva1
1Yelabuga Institute of Kazan Federal University, Yelabuga

 Keywords: biological feedback system, relaxed diaphragmatic breathing, health technologies, self-control, students, professional training.

Introduction. Currently, the problem of health preservation and health promotion among children is particularly acute. Numerous monitoring surveys indicate a decreasing percentage of healthy students and an increasing number of chronic somatic and neurological diseases in children. One way to overcome the present situation is to enhance the curative effect of physical education as a general education school subject. The role of valeological education of students is increasing in the process of formation of individual’s physical culture [3]. The National Educational Initiative "Our New School" emphasizes that it is not only family, but also teachers, who are responsible for preservation and promotion of physical and mental health of students. In this view, the main focus of ​​vocational training of future physical education specialists is to give the skills needed for implementation of health technologies in the educational and training process.

One direction to improve students’ health through the educational and training process is to develop their skill of relaxed diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing, being one of the bodily functions, plays an important role in emotional stability improvement and immune system reinforcement. Oxygen is necessary for a set of oxidation-reduction processes, contributing to energy production and supporting life.

Breathing, as noted by V.I. Dubrovskiy [1], is a single process within a single organism that consists of three parts: 1) external respiration; 2) gas transfer; 3) internal (tissue) respiration.

The volume of oxygen consumed has a direct impact on man’s performance. Relaxed diaphragmatic breathing is the most correct breathing pattern from a physiological point of view, as it is  when oxygen saturation is optimal.

In general, as noted by M.G. Ishmukhametov [2], affected by physical and special breathing exercises, lung ventilation and pulmonary perfusion improve and general resistance of the body against harmful environmental effects increases. Therefore, the third physical education class at the primary school devoted to the health preservation skills, as emphasized by M.G. Ishmukhametov, is one of the effective means of nonspecific prevention and a stimulator for harmonious development of students.

A.A. Smetankin [4] defines the biological feedback (BFB) based technology as a voluntary volitional control over the bodily functions for the purpose of their improvement by means of electronic devices that communicate information on the functioning of our organs and systems in the form of graphic images and audio signals. To adjust diaphragmatic breathing, a person needs to consciously change the information on the monitor in the desired direction with the help of the BFB system.

Objective of the study was to develop the skills of relaxed diaphragmatic breathing in students majoring in "Physical Education and Life Safety" discipline using the biological feedback based technology.

Methods and structure of the study. The experimental group was represented by 32 second-year students majoring in Physical Education and Life Safety. The reference group was made of 26 students majoring in Preschool Education, Foreign Language.

To develop the relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills, we used the BFB-based technology and "BFB-Health" hardware and software diagnostic system by "Biosvyaz".

Results and discussion. As part of the empirical study, at the stage of the ascertaining experiment we determined the level of development of relaxed diaphragmatic breathing in students majoring in Physical Education and Life Safety with the use of the hardware and software diagnostic BFB system. The study found that none of the experimental group subjects got 5, which would indicate that they had well-developed relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills. Only 16% of the subjects got 4, which indicated that they had certain relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills, insufficiently developed though; in most cases, the functioning of their cardiovascular and respiratory systems was coordinated with failures happening at times. 64% of the students got 3 and 20% - 2. Mark "3" indicated the undeveloped relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills and disruptions in the coordinated functioning of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Mark "2" indicated that a person had not developed the relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills and the functioning of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems was not coordinated.

The results of the study of relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills in the reference group are as follows: 8% of the subjects got mark "4", 70% - mark "3", 22% - mark "2".

The comparative analysis carried out using Student's t-test failed to reveal any statistically significant differences between the experimental and reference groups. This indicated that, regardless of the training process, most students did not have the relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills. Perhaps, this was due to the fact that it was the second year students, and they had just started their professional development (major subjects are introduced in the third year of studies). However, it is extremely important for the students majoring in Physical Education and Life Safety to build the relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills. Relaxed diaphragmatic breathing is one of those indirect factors that help achieve significant results during the educational and training process. Therefore, physical education teachers are to introduce health technologies through breathing exercises, self-massage, etc.

The educational experiment included a series of practices (7 training sessions) aimed to build up and improve the relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills using the hardware and software BFB system. The BFB-based technology enabled the students to see on the monitor the coordinated functioning of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, as well as the changes in the level of respiratory cardiac arrhythmia during exercise and at rest (during work a person should breathe in accordance with the instructions on relaxed diaphragmatic breathing). The respiratory cardiac arrhythmia rates are indicative of the reserve capabilities of the body.

At the end of the training sessions we obtained the following results: 25% of the experimental group students got "5", 37% - "4", 38% - "3". As we can see, the results obtained in the experimental group had improved significantly upon completion of the special correction practices, except for 38% of the students with the poorly developed relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills.

The comparative analysis of the ascertaining experiment results conducted using Student's t-test revealed the statistically significant differences (t=3.14 at p≤0.01) in the relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skill levels. Consequently, the special correction practices helped build the relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills in the examined subjects. But another series of practices need to be conducted to improve the built skills.

Conclusion. At the initial stages of professional development students majoring in Physical Education and Life Safety have their relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills developed insufficiently (vocational subjects are introduced in the 3rd year of studies only), but during the special correction practices a positive dynamics is always observed in the relaxed diaphragmatic breathing and self-control skills building processes.

Having the necessary relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills students – future physical education teachers - will be able to successfully teach their students how to breathe properly, thus contributing to their physical recreation and emotional balance.



  1. Dubrovskiy V.I. Sportivnaya meditsina [Sports medicine]. Moscow: Vlados publ., 2002.

  2. Ishmukhametov M.G. Dykhatelnaya gimnastika i samomassazh na tretem uroke. I-IV klassy [Breathing exercises and self-massage on the third lesson. I-IV classes]. Fizicheskaya kultura v shkole. 2010, no. 3. pp. 41-45.

  3. Lubysheva L.I. Sotsiologiya fizicheskoy kultury i sport [Sociology of physical culture and sports]. Moscow: Akademiya publ., 2010.

  4. Smetankin A.A. Zdorovye na 5+ [Perfect health]. St. Petersburg: Biosvyaz publ., 2007.


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The study analyzed relaxed diaphragmatic breathing in the biological feedback toolkit applied in the physical education specialist training process. Presently physical education teachers offer not only the physical development, training and precompetitive training services to students, but also assist in the relevant health programs being implemented in the physical education process. It means that the future specialists shall build up the relevant competences and skills in the health technologies including the relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills. It should be noted that the subject issue is still underexplored in the relevant aspects. The study data show the important role of relaxed diaphragmatic breathing for the bodily homeostasis, immunity and emotional balance. The study overviews and analyzes the empirical study data of the relaxed diaphragmatic breathing skills building experiment, with the second-year students majoring in Physical Education and Life Safety discipline being subject to the biological feedback system testing experiment. The study data were processed using the standard methods of mathematical statistics with application of the Student t-criterion. Special correction practices with application of the biological feedback system were tested beneficial as verified by the students’ progress in the relaxed diaphragmatic breathing and self-control skills building practices.