Friday, 22 May 2015

Physical factors affecting lung volume

Olympic cyclists tend to have larger than average lungs for their size. This experiment looks for links between physical attributes and lung volume which would enable people to predict their likelihood of success should they take up the sport.


Spirometer or other breathing volume measuring equipment (e.g. lung volume bag)
Tape measure
Range of subjects


Measure a range of physical features for each subject such as height, chest circumference, length from between collar bone to sternum, length of forearm etc.

Use the spirometer to record the maximum breath volume of each subject and also their peak flow rate if your device will allow that.

Plot a scatter graph of the lung volume against each physical measurement to determine if there is a correlation between any of the data collected.


Asthmatics may cough when performing these tests so should either be removed from the sample or ensure they have their inhaler with them. The mouthpiece of the spirometer should be changed or sterilised between subjects.