What is Considered to be Good Lung Capacity?

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About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by Sanja Jelic, MD

Question: What is Considered to be Good Lung Capacity?

Answer: "Good" lung capacity is a general term used to describe an individual's breathing in relation to many factors specific to that person, such as weight, sex, age, and activity.

The average total lung capacity is approximately 5.8 liters (5800 cm3), however it varies from person to person, and is dependent on the factors discussed above.

Lung Capacity Variation

Women tend to have 20 - 25% lower total lung capacity than males. Tall people tend to have a greater total lung capacity than shorter people. Heavy smokers generally have a drastically lower total lung capacity than non-smokers.

To find out if your lung capacity is "good" or "bad", you should talk to your doctor - preferably a pulmonologist.

How to Improve Your Respiratory Health

1) See a pulmonologist about your condition
2) If you are a smoker, quit smoking
3) Exercise and walk everyday (with prior approval from your doctor)
4) Eat a healthy diet
5) Educate yourself about your condition so that you can make informed decisions about your health

The following resources will give you some tips for improving your health:

  • 6 Dietary Tips for Emphysema and COPD Patients
  • 8 Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Cancer
  • For more information about walking for good health, visit Walking at About.com. You can find a lot of helpful information about walking, including how to get started on a regular walking program.

    It is also important to establish and maintain a healthy diet. If you need some guidance on good nutrition, be sure to visit Nutrition at About.com. The Nutrition Guide provides tons of information about nutritional supplements, disease prevention, and shopping for healthy food.

    Lung Capacity Testing

  • Body Plethysmography
  • Published: 01/07/06

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