Proning is an age-old practice position that people with respiratory ailments have benefitted from. However, this medically approved position has once again become the buzzword amid the COVID-19 pandemic as people struggle to breathe. People infected with coronavirus whether in the hospital or in isolation at home, complain of shortness of breath. In such a situation, instead of panicking, you can try this simple solution for relief from acute respiratory distress. For this, you'll not need any medicine or oxygen cylinder, neither will you need any help from others. You just have to lie down and take deep breaths.

Just recently, as COVID-19 patients across the country gasp for oxygen, an 82-year-old woman from Gorakhpur managed to increase her oxygen levels by lying in a prone position. She was able to beat COVID-19 without an oxygen cylinder and has set an example for others. Vidya Srivastava from Alinagar in Gorakhpur tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month and she claims that proning helped her big time. Proning has been considered to be a medically accepted position to improve breathing comfort and oxygen levels, as per the Health Ministry.

Recognising its benefits, the Government of India & the Health Ministry have also shared information related to it on its website and Twitter page. Currently, as all the major hospitals of the country are facing a shortage of oxygen supply, this technique has turned out to be quite beneficial. MHOFW has also released a PDF called COVID-19 Proning for Self-care that you can easily refer to for details.

What is Prone position?

According to the information given by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, the prone position is proving to be extremely beneficial for COVID-19 patients, especially the ones who are in home isolation. With the help of this positioning technique, the dip in oxygen can be boosted immediately. According to the health ministry, if the patient's oxygen level (SPO2) is 94 or below, then they can use this technique safely at home.

How To Perform Proning?

For this, you will need 4 to 5 pillows. Place a pillow under the neck, one to two pillows under the chest, and the upper thigh. Now place two pillows under the lower leg.

How to Do Proning Correctly? Know The Position to Improve Oxygenation BY Ministry of Health 


  • Take four to five pillow and lie down
  • You can lie on your stomach for half an hour to 2 hours as per your comfort.
  • After this, lie on the right corrugation for half an hour to 2 hours.
  • After this, stay in the sitting position for half an hour to 2 hours.
  • Next, lie on the right corrugation for half an hour to 2 hours.
  • Now, lie on your stomach again. It is better to keep changing your position within half an hour.

Cautions To Keep in Mind

  • Do it at least 1 hour after meals.
  • Stay in this position for as long as it is comfortable.
  • Do not try this position during pregnancy.
  • If problems persist, consult the doctor.
  • Refrain from this position if you suffer from major cardiac problems.
  • If there is an injury in your body like the pelvic fracture, etc. or your spinal cord is compromised in any way, don't try proning at all.

What WHO Says

Back in March, World Health Organization recommended proning for COVID-19 patients with acute Receptive Distress Syndrome (ARDS).  WHO has described this technique as safe for children as well.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 29, 2021 02:45 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website