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ERIC Number: EJ1073323
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1043-4046
The Ins and Outs of Breath Holding: Simple Demonstrations of Complex Respiratory Physiology
Skow, Rachel J.; Day, Trevor A.; Fuller, Jonathan E.; Bruce, Christina D.; Steinback, Craig D.
Advances in Physiology Education, v39 n3 p223-231 Sep 2015
The physiology of breath holding is complex, and voluntary breath-hold duration is affected by many factors, including practice, psychology, respiratory chemoreflexes, and lung stretch. In this activity, we outline a number of simple laboratory activities or classroom demonstrations that illustrate the complexity of the integrative physiology behind breath-hold duration. These activities require minimal equipment and are easily adapted to small-group demonstrations or a larger-group inquiry format where students can design a protocol and collect and analyze data from their classmates. Specifically, breath-hold duration is measured during a number of maneuvers, including after end expiration, end inspiration, voluntary prior hyperventilation, and inspired hyperoxia. Further activities illustrate the potential contribution of chemoreflexes through rebreathing and repeated rebreathing after a maximum breath hold. The outcome measures resulting from each intervention are easily visualized and plotted and can comprise a comprehensive data set to illustrate and discuss complex and integrated cardiorespiratory physiology.
American Physiological Society. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991. Tel: 301-634-7164; Fax: 301-634-7241; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A