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Lung function tests

Lung Function tests – Fitness tests.

There are 3 common measurements which can be used to determine lung capacity and flow rate.

  1. Forced vital capacity FVC – the amount of air you can exhale with force after you breath as deep as possible.
  2. Forced expiratory volume FEV  – the amount of air you can exhale with force from 1 breath.
  3. Peak expiratory flow (PEF). This measures how quickly you can exhale.

These can be simply measure using a spirometer and a peak flow meter.

Both the spirometer and the peak flow test are very simple to use. Instructions will vary slightly on how to use them.

How to use a peak flow meter:

Peak flow meter

  1. Firstly take a few practice breaths warming up the lungs. Breath out as much Air as possible and then breath in as deeply as possible.
  2. Breathe in a deep breath and place the peak flow meter to your mouth.
  3. Forcefully exhale as much air as possible, and really blow through the meter.
  4. I recommend repeating this 3 times and taking the maximum value.

Peak flow results Table:

Peak expiratory flow rate -results table Normal Values

How to use a Spirometer

Spirometer

The method is very similar to the peak flow meter, however you must breathe in as deeply as possible and expel all (as much as you can) the air from your lungs.

  1. Firstly take a few practice breaths warming up the lungs. Breath out as much Air as possible and then breath in as deeply as possible.
  2. Breathe in as deeply as possible and place the spirometer to your mouth.
  3. Forcefully exhale as much air as possible, continue to breathe out as much air as possible.
  4. I recommend repeating this twice.

Spirometer Results table

FVC, FEV1 & FEV