Miller, R. L., Robison, E., McCloskey, J. B., & Picken, J. (1989). Pulmonary diffusing capacity as a predictor of performance in competitive swimming. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 29, 91-96.

The relationship between competitive swimming performance and lung function was assessed. Ohio State University varsity swimmers (N = 22) served as subjects.

In this highly selective group it may be very difficult to detect small differences in variability. The following were found.

  1. Swimming performance cannot be predicted on the basis of lung diffusing capacity.
  2. In this selective swimming group lung function is greater than that of non-swimmers of the same age and height.
  3. One season of intense training does not affect lung volume or gas exchange.
  4. Heavy swimming training in physically mature persons does not influence lung diffusing capacity.

Implication. The findings of this study should not be generalized to swimmers still in their growth phase, nor a more disparate group of individuals. It is not known if one of the selection factors for this superior group of swimmers was their above average lung function.

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