Tidal volume of your lungs
How can you measure the tidal volume of your lungs? Find out with our experiment!
Warning! Only under adult supervision. This method has contraindications. Ask your doctor!
- two bottles;
- two tubes (silicone or straws); any sealant;
- measuring cup;
- scissors or an awl.
Fill a bottle with water using a measuring cup, marking each 1/4 pint. Make two holes in the bottle cap, thread a tube through each, and seal. Cap the water bottle and insert the free end of one of the tubes into an empty bottle.Take a deep breath and exhale into the other tube. Water is leaking into the second bottle!
The measurement of lung volume is an integral part of the study of lung function. On average, human lungs have a total volume of 4–6 liters. However, the lungs usually do not work to their full capacity. Moreover, the volume of the lungs may change, for example, due to a respiratory disease. Lung volume is the sum of four indicators: tidal volume, inspiratory reserve volume, expiratory reserve volume, and residual volume. Our experiment measures tidal volume, which is defined as the amount of air inhaled and exhaled during normal respiration. On average, this ranges from 300 to 500 mL (about 0.6 to 1 pint).
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