I've come across a statement which is the following :

At their peak, swimmers' lungs will use oxygen three times more efficiently than an average person.

First time I saw it was on wikihow's page on how to increase one's lung volume. But as I started to look into it, I saw it several times more.

I haven't been able to find a reliable scientific source to the statement and now wondering if there is any truth in the quote above?

  • 3
    I hope any answers will explain what the claim could possibly mean. – Oddthinking Sep 4 '16 at 2:03
  • 2
    Without a definition of what it means to "use oxygen X times more efficiently than an average person" there is no way to answer the claim... – Bakuriu Sep 4 '16 at 10:25
  • Yes, I recognise the problem the lack of definition for what is meant with using oxygen efficiently. And, tbh, i have no clue. But considering it is specified to the lungs it could possibly referrig toDLCO. On the other the quote can be flawed and the efficiency not being limited to the lungs but the body's overall adaption as suggested in USA Swimming's site about the topic. – user35577 Sep 4 '16 at 15:12
  • 1
    Trouble is, lungs don't use oxygen (apart from keeping their own tissues ticking over), they merely move it into the bloodstream and move CO2 out. The rest of the body uses the oxygen. – Paul Johnson Sep 6 '16 at 18:51
  • I'm going to guess that this is seriously misinterpreting science/statistics. For instance - in swimming you are pushing your body very hard, but are limiting the amount of breathing you do. It stands to reason that with each exchange to breath, with the same fixed volume of air in your lungs for longer, more oxygen will be removed, more CO2 will be added. So, if, instead of breathing out 90% of the oxygen content of the original air, I breathe out air that only contains 70%, someone who doesn't know science might say "Look, they're using oxygen three times more efficiently!" – PoloHoleSet Sep 21 '16 at 22:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .