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Lung movement

Hi everybody, I am curious as to how many times per minute that the average person does with inhaling and exhaling with there lungs. Mine is so slow that at times i think they are going to stop. On average i only do about eight in and out breaths to the minute and im very aware of this mentally, it causes me anxiety all time. is this normal or am i a bit slow. thanks for any possible replies..

3 Replies

HI Ken,

It seems yours is slower than the average but not that much. Though it's hard to measure your own as you can alter your breathing without realising it - I think drs and nurses often pretend to be doing something else while checking it so you don't alter it.


'Breathing methods' like Buteyko seem to want you to get it down to about 4 or 5 breaths per minute and see this as a good thing as they think most people take too many breaths, but I don't know if this is in line with general medical opinion as some asthmatics don't breathe enough. (I'm a little sceptical about a number of the wilder Buteyko claims but perhaps this one about resp rate is sound, I don't know). A high resp rate is supposed to be a sign of respiratory distress but at least according to that article, it's not infallible.

You might just be a naturally slower breather (like some people's peak flows are higher or lower than predicted). If you're worried, maybe you could ask your GP/consultant if you're seeing them soon, or try the AUK adviceline?

I'd be interested to see people's answers to this too, especially more expert people! I was told previously that I'm 'overbreathing' but my resp rate is 12 which is right at the bottom of normal, and the physio said the pattern is normal yet she still said I have a 'breathing pattern disorder'...so I'm curious about when someone is over vs underbreathing or breathing normally and how significant resp rate really is.


If your breathing rate is 8 per min and you are not breathless or in any discomfort , try not to worry about it. Everyone is different.

Yes, they say the average is 12 breaths per minute but we are all different.

Try to ignore your breathing rate if you feel OK. Sometimes being aware of our breathing can alter the rate......

Hope this helps




The dr and nurses dont just don't count the rate but how effective it is .And If any other back

Up things are being used ... Low resp rates can give cause for concerns when associated with other risks problems or complaints . So unfortunately using or quoting info straight from the Internet can be misleading and inacurrate about normal Rates and when concerns may arise ... If in doubt u could always discuss it further with gp Or nurse at Nxt review


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