Proper Posture Assessment Using Metabolic Testing

Proper Posture and Body Imbalance Assessment Using Metabolic Testing

In this video Ara Keshishian from Chevy Chase fitness demonstrates how metabolic analysis can be a powerful tool for assessing proper posture, body imbalances, and ventilation mechanics.


Previously we shared literature which shows that ventilation mechanics are the strongest predictor of myoskeletal problems, body imbalances and lower back pain. 

In simple words: if you are breathing wrong you have higher chance of developing mobility problems such as lower back pain. 

Here we put the literature to the test to see how ventilation mechanics as measured by the PNOĒ metabolic analyzer can be used to assess the onset of myoskeletal stress and the onset of proper posture loss. 

The test was simple: Ara measured his ventilation mechanics while gradually increasing the load on his body by going from a very relaxed position to strenuous one.

Data From The PNOE Metabolic Analyzer

Testing Positions for Assessment

The positions were the following:

  1. Laying down 
  2. Standing up straight which is the next hardest thing our body can do after simply laying down
  3. Holding a 45 pound bag on his chest
  4. Hanging from a bar 

Metrics of Interest

The metrics of interest are RER, breathing frequency, and tidal volume. Tidal volume is the total amount of air exchanged between a person’s lungs and the environment. 



These are the results of the test as recorded by Ara’s PNOĒ. 

The color coding denotes the different stages of the protocol, laying down, standing up, holding the bag and hanging from the bar.

First lets juxtapose breathing frequency and tidal volume. In the graph tidal volume is the green line and breathing frequency is the purple line.

Notice that even by going from laying down to simply standing up there is a noticeable increase in breathing frequency. Of course this delta is expected to be much higher in reconditioned individuals but even in the case of a well trained person, it clearly shows the impact that myoskeletal stress has on our ventilation mechanics and by implication to our metabolic activity. 

And subsequently by going from standing up to holding a 45 pound weight, breathing frequency spikes by approximately 50%.

In general, the higher the breathing frequency the less core stability we have. Also, the lower the tidal volume the more our posture is compromised due to less core pressure and also the less oxygen we consume leading to greater participation of anaerobic metabolism in the energy generation process. More anaerobic metabolism subsequently leads to more fatigue and loss or motor control. 

It is very interesting that during the 3rd stage where Ara is holding the 45 pound bag, his breathing frequency is stable at about 29 breaths per minute and as he gradually fatigues, his breathing frequency spikes to 35 and his tidal volume diminishes along with his oxygen uptake. 

Basically, although we can’t see, Ara is getting tired and is losing posture and motor control. 


This is an example of how ventilation mechanics, a component of metabolic analysis, can be used a powerful tool to assess the myoskeletal stress that a particular position has on our body, even standing up. It also shows how it can be used as a tool to quantify the the onset of fatigue and the loss of proper posture control. 

For example, in the case of de-conditioned individuals suffering from mobility issues, assessing ventilation mechanics when laying down vs standing straight or laying down vs being in a position which is uncomfortable for the individual can be a great tool to assess progress of the intervention. 


Learn More About Chevy Chase Fitness

Learn more about Chevy Chase Fitness at

(content provided by Ara Keshishian and Chevy Chase Fitness

Interested in using the PNOE Metabolic Analzyer for your own business or personal use, to measure and analyze metabolism?