Data Cart

Your data extract

0 variables
0 samples
View Cart
Used deep breathing exercises, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

Can't find the category you are looking for? Try the Detailed codes


For sample adults in 2002 and 2007 who had ever used deep breathing exercises (RELBRETHEV) and for sample children in 2007, RELBRETHYR reports whether the person had used deep breathing exercises in the past 12 months.

Relaxation techniques--including meditation, deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, progressive relaxation, stress management classes, and support group meetings--were one of many alternative health treatment modalities included in the 2002 and/or 2007 Alternative Health Supplement. For the full list of alternative health treatments covered in the NHIS, and for general background information about the Alternative Health Supplements, see ACUYR.

In 2002 and 2007, if sample adults gave a positive response to RELBRETHYR (or to the comparable variables RELMEDYR, RELGIMYR, RELRELAXYR, RELSTRESYR [2007 only], or RELSUPYR [2007 only], which cover use of other relaxation techniques in the past 12 months), they were asked a series of follow-up questions (see RELMEDYR).

In addition, both sample children (2007 only) and sample adults (both 2002 and 2007) who had used any of the six specified relaxation techniques in the past 12 months were asked whether the techniques were used to treat a specific medical condition and, if so, what that condition was (see RELTREAT).


The 2002 Field Representative's Manual says that deep breathing:

involves slow and deep inhalation through the nose, usually to the count of 10, followed by slow and complete exhalation for a similar count. To help quiet the mind, one generally concentrates fully on breathing and counting through each cycle. The process may be repeated five to 10 times, several times a day.

This definition was not routinely shared with respondents.

The 2007 Field Representative's Manual provides a very similar definition. In 2007 field representatives were advised to "feel free to offer [this definition] even if the respondent has not requested [it]."


The question wording for RELBRETHYR changes slightly over time.


In 2002, sample adults were asked, "During the past 12 months, did you use ... deep breathing exercises?"

In 2007, sample adults were asked, "During the past 12 months, did you use deep breathing exercises for yourself?"

The 2007 question for sample children asked, "During the past 12 months did [sample child's name] use any of the following relaxation or stress management techniques? Please say yes or no to each. ... Deep breathing exercises?"


  • 2002: Sample adults age 18+ who have ever used deep breathing exercises for their health.
  • 2007: Sample adults age 18+ who have ever used deep breathing exercises and sample children under 18.


  • 2002, 2007