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Comparative study on pulmonary function tests in children- swimmers versus non swimmers

Author: 
Dr. Vishnu Priya, M.
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Children and sports go hand in hand. When it comes to water sports and especially swimming, they are the favourite forms of exercise for children. As per the study by Nilesh Netaji Kate et al., 2012, exercise in the form of swimming for more than two years produces a significant improvement in the pulmonary functions. This improvement is directly proportional to the duration of swimming. Hence, this study is carried out to compare the lung functions between children swimming regularly for the past two to three years and non-swimming children. Aim: To assess and compare the basal anthropometric parameters and pulmonary ventilation among swimming and non- swimming children. Forced Vital Capacity (FVC), Forced Expiratory Volume in first second (FEV1), Forced Expiratory Volume percentage (FEV1%) and Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR) are recorded using a spirometer. Methodology: A total of 120 subjects were included for the study. Study group consisted of 60 male & female children of age 8 to 12 years, from Dr.MGR Stadium, Race Course, Madurai who has been swimming regularly for at least 3 days a week for the past two to three years. Age, Sex and BMI matched 60 children who have not indulged in any sports activity were allocated as the control group. Basal anthropometric parameters were recorded. Basal cardiovascular parameters were recorded. The pulmonary functions of the subjects were measured using portable computerised spirometer (spirobank-G). Spirometry was performed with the subject in the sitting position, head slightly elevated and nose clips applied. After taking a deep breath the subjects were asked to expire as fast and forcibly as possible into the mouth piece. The best of three consistent trials was recorded. Results: Statistical analysis by student’s t- test revealed that the anthropometric and basal cardiovascular parameters did not vary significantly between the study and control group with a ‘p’ value > 0.05. The pulmonary function tests show an increase in swimmers when compared with normal individuals. Results analysed using student’s t- test revealed a statistically significant ‘p’ value (p <0.05). Conclusion: The present study concludes that exercise in the form of swimming for more than two years produces a significant improvement in the pulmonary functions. This improvement is directly proportional to the duration of swimming. Hence swimming inculcated at an early age makes the children grow into a healthy, confident and self- esteemed adults.

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