Kojima, K., Wilhite, D. P., Wright, B. V., & Stager, J. M.(2011). Expiratory flow-limitation and resting pulmonary function during maximal exercise in young competitive swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(5). Supplement abstract 614.

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This study characterized pulmonary function in young competitive swimmers (M = 4; F = 4; ~10.7 years) to gain insight into the influence of swim training on breathing in prepubescent children. Ss completed a set of resting pulmonary function tests including maximal flow-volume maneuvers preceding and following an incremental exercise test to exhaustion on a cycle ergometer. Oxygen uptake, ventilation, and expiratory flow limitation were measured during exercise.

Forced expiratory volume, expiratory reserve volume, and VO2max in young swimmers were significantly higher than reported values of untrained prepubescents. Three Ss demonstrated a substantial amount of expiratory flow limitation (59, 48, and 18%) during maximal exercise, while five did not.

Implication. Pulmonary function and ventilatory and metabolic measures in young swimmers differ to those in untrained prepubescents. The young swimmers in this study showed less prevalence of expiratory flow limitation. Participating in this largely endurance sport could promote beneficial lung function during growth.

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