Sitting at the edge of the bed – position against shortness of breath: Instructions

Sitting at the edge of the bed is a simple, breathe-easy position which makes it easier to breathe. The principle of sitting at the edge of the bed – as with all positions that make it easier to breathe – is to rest your weight on your arms. By supporting yourself, you relieve your chest of the weight of your shoulders. This makes it easier for the respiratory support muscles to do their job and so it is easier to breathe and you can inhale and exhale more freely.

Sitting at the edge of the bed is a variation on the coachman position, one of the most well-known breathe-easy positions.

Instructions: Edge of bed position

It is easy to adopt the edge of bed position.

  • Sit at the edge of the bed.
  • Support your arms next to your buttocks, leaning back a little, but not bracing yourself. You can now feel the weight of your shoulders being carried by your arms.
  • Relax as much as you can.
  • Your neck should be loose.
  • Nothing may press against your belly.
  • Take deep and calm breaths in and out. As you breathe out you can use pursed lip breathing if that helps.

About Marlies Ziegler

This article was written in cooperation with Marlies Zieger. She works as a physiotherapist in private practice in Munich. She specialises in respiratory therapy. She has been treating patients with chronic obstructive and restrictive airway diseases such as asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis (CF) and primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), for more than 20 years.

More exercises and information for free breathing

Note: The information in this blog post is not a treatment recommendation. The needs of patients vary greatly from person to person. The treatment approaches presented should be viewed only as examples. PARI recommends that patients always consult with their physician or physiotherapist first.

An article written by the PARI BLOG editorial team.

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