- Updated on October 29, 2020
Average Breath Holding Time – Body Oxygen in Normal Subjects
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This table below summarizes available western data for (medical and physiological research articles) regarding average breath holding time (or body-oxygen test or CP – Control Pause) for normal and healthy people. Note that some of the studies were conducted almost a century ago.
The Breath Holding Time test is done after normal or usual exhalation in normal or healthy subjects and only until the first signs of stress or discomfort. If the test was done in different conditions, the results were adjusted to this specific test (after usual exhalation and only until initial stress). The procedure of adjustment is described below.
Table. Control Pause in normal and healthy people according to various medical references
|Types of people investigated||Number of subjects||Control Pause, s||References|
|US aviators||319||41 s||Schneider, 1919|
|Fit instructors||22||46 s||Flack, 1920|
|Home defense pilots||24||49 s||Flack, 1920|
|British candidates||23||47 s||Flack, 1920|
|US candidates||7||45 s||Flack, 1920|
|Delivery pilots||27||39 s||Flack, 1920|
|Pilots trained for scouts||15||42 s||Flack, 1920|
|Min required. for flying||–||34 s||Flack, 1920|
|Normal subjects||20||39 s||Schneider, 1930|
|Normal subjects||30||23 s||Friedman, 1945|
|Normal subjects||7||44 s||Ferris et al, 1946|
|Normal subjects||22||33 s||Mirsky et al, 1946|
|Aviation students||48||36 s||Karpovich, 1947|
|Normal subjects||80||28 s||Rodbard, 1947|
|Normal subjects||3||41 s||Stroud, 1959|
|Normal subjects||16||16 s||Kohn & Cutcher, 1970|
|Normal subjects||6||28 s||Davidson et al, 1974|
|Normal subjects||16||22 s||Stanley et al, 1975|
|Normal subjects||7||29 s||Gross et al, 1976|
|Normal subjects||6||36 s||Bartlett, 1977|
|Normal subjects||9||33 s||Mukhtar et al, 1986|
|Normal subjects||20||36 s||Morrissey et al, 1987|
|Normal subjects||14||25 s||Zandbergen et al, 1992|
|Normal subjects||26||21 s||Asmudson & Stein, 1994|
|Normal subjects||30||36 s||Taskar et al, 1995|
|Normal subjects||76||25 s||McNally & Eke, 1996|
|Normal subjects||8||32 s||Sasse et al, 1996|
|Normal subjects||10||38 s||Flume et al, 1996|
|Normal subjects||31||29 s||Marks et al, 1997|
|Normal males||36||29 s||Joshi et al, 1998|
|Normal females||33||23 s||Joshi et al, 1998|
|Healthy subjects||20||38 s||Morooka et al, 2000|
|Normal subjects||6||30 s||Bosco et al, 2004|
|Normal subjects||19||30 s||Mitrouska et al, 2007|
|Healthy subjects||14||34 s||Andersson et al, 2009|
Breath Holding Time, for these studies, was done in different conditions (e.g., after normal inhalation, or exhalation, or taking a very deep inhalation, or a complete exhalation, until first stress or as long as possible).
These different conditions for Breath Holding Time can produce large variations in results (by more than 200%). Moreover, sometimes patients are asked to take 2 or 3 deep breaths before the test. Since researchers use different methods for BHT measurements, the standardization of results is necessary in order for them to be compared. If you are interested in these details, visit Complete CP Table for normal and healthy subjects and see how these different tests were standardized.
Doctor Buteyko and his medical colleagues tested hundreds of thousands of patients for Breath Holding Time and found that over 60 s CP corresponds to ideal health when many modern diseases are virtually impossible.
It makes physiological sense since the development of chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, etc.) is based on cell hypoxia. High CPs indicate abundant oxygenation of cells and tissues, while sick people have reduced CP values (less than 20 s): Control Pause in Sick People due to overbreathing.
If you are interested in the following numbers:
- the maximum possible result for the body O2 test (CP)
- the maximum breath-holding without any deep breaths, or water immersion, or use of pure oxygen (as David Blaine and others often use for better results). In other words, you can only take one very deep breath before this test while sitting and breathing normal air.
these numbers are provided as your bonus content.
1. The ideal CP is about 3 minutes.
2. The maximum breath holding time that corresponds to 3 min CP is about 7-9 minutes depending on the lung size, the training effect (willpower) and other factors. With extreme training, it can be more than 9 minutes.