Comparison of lung volume in Greek swimmers, land based athletes, and sedentary controls using allometric scaling

Article


Doherty, M. and Dimitriou, L. 1997. Comparison of lung volume in Greek swimmers, land based athletes, and sedentary controls using allometric scaling. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 31 (4), pp. 337-341. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.31.4.337
TypeArticle
TitleComparison of lung volume in Greek swimmers, land based athletes, and sedentary controls using allometric scaling
AuthorsDoherty, M. and Dimitriou, L.
Abstract

Objective-To compare lung volumes in a large cross sectional sample of Greek swimmers, land based athletes, and sedentary controls by means of allometric scaling.
Methods-Four hundred and fifty nine asymptomatic Greek children and young adults (age 10-21 years), including 159
swimmers, 130 land based athletes, and 170 sedentary controls, performed forced expiratory manoeuvres into a portable spirometer. Measurements included forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV.1), and peak expiratory flow. Body mass and stature were also measured using standardised anthropometric techniques.
Results-Logarithmic transformations showed that In FEV.1 was highly related to In stature in males and females (r = 0.93
and 0.86 respectively, P<0.001) and were used to determine the exponent in an allometric equation which also included age and age2. Resulting power functions, FEV1 /stature -b, were 0.64 (0.18) litres/m269 and 0.33 (0.24) litres/m232 for males and females respectively (mean (SE)). The male and female swimming groups had larger FEV1. than both land based athletes and sedentary controls (one way analysis of variance, P<0.001). In addition, male national standard swimmers (n = 38) had superior FEV1. in comparison with male non-national standard swimmers (n = 24; t test, P<0.05). However, when years of swimming training was controlled for by analysis of covariance, the difference in
FEV1. between the two groups was no longer evident.
Conclusions-Swimmers have superior FEV1. independent of stature and age in comparison with both land based athletes and sedentary controls. In addition, male national standard swimmers have superior FEV1. independent of stature and age in comparison with male non-national
standard swimmers. When years of training is controlled for, the difference in FEV1. between the two groups is no longer evident. This suggests that the years of swimming training and/or the earlier age at which training begins may have a significant influence on subsequent FEV1. and swimming performance. However, because of the cross sectional nature of this study, the results do not exclude genetic endowment as a major determinant ofthe superior lung volume observed in swimmers.

Research GroupPhysiology at the London Sport Institute
LanguageEnglish
PublisherBMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
ISSN0306-3674
Publication dates
PrintDec 1997
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Nov 2015
Accepted28 May 1997
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.31.4.337
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