Efficacy of alternate nostril breathing on pulmonary function and physical functional capacity in healthy adults across different age groups
Background: Alternate nostril breathing (ANB) is a voluntary breathing exercise that incorporates the use of the right and left nostril alternately. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of ANB on pulmonary function and physical functional capacity in normal adults across different age groups. Research hypothesis: Null Hypothesis: Alternate nostril breathing has no effect on pulmonary function and physical functional capacity in healthy adults across different age groups. Alternate Hypothesis: Alternate nostril breathing is effective on pulmonary function and physical functional capacity in healthy adults across different age groups. Methodology: Forty eight asymptomatic normal subjects of 20-50 years of age were stratified based on age and were assigned into: young age strata (experimental and control group) and old age strata (experimental and control group) for this randomized controlled trial. Pulmonary function parameters: force expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV₁) in liter, force vital capacity (FVC) in liter, FEV₁/FVC in percentage, peak inspiratory flow rate (PIFR) in liter, and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) in liter and physical functional capacity by distance covered during 6 minutes walk test in meter were assessed before and after the test. Experimental groups had practiced alternate nostril breathing, 15 minutes for 4 weeks (6 days/week) and control groups did not perform anything. Analysis was done for both strata separately. Normality of the test was done by Shapiro wilk test. The data does not follow normal distribution. Between groups analysis was done by Mann whitney u test whereas, Wilcoxon signed rank test was used for within group analysis. Results: Between group analyses showed significant improvement in FEV₁, FVC, and PEFR in experimental groups of both young strata and old strata (p≤0.05). Within group analysis showed significant improvement in experimental groups of young and old strata in FEV₁, FVC, PEFR, PIFR, and 6MWD (p≤0.05). Discussion: Alternate nostril breathing can be used as an intervention to improve FEV₁, FVC and PEFR of population of both age groups.