What is lung capacity? What lung volumes does it consist of? Use a spirometer to determine your lung capacity. What factors influence its value?
Pulmonary volumes. At rest, a person inhales and exhales about 500 cm3 of air. This volume of air is called the tidal volume. After a calm inhalation, a person can still inhale 1,500 cm3 – the reserve volume of the inhale – and exhale the same amount of air – the reserve volume of exhalation. The totality of all three volumes (500 cm3 + 1500 cm3 + 1500 cm3 = 3500 cm3) is called the vital capacity of the lungs. It depends on the development of the lungs and respiratory muscles. Athletes have a larger lung capacity and can reach 5000-6000 cm3. However, even after maximum exhalation, about 1000 cm8 of air remains in the lungs – the residual volume. It prevents the subsidence of the alveoli and smooths out fluctuations in the concentration of oxygen and carbon dioxide, due to differences in their contents in the inhaled and exhaled air.
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