Experiment Outline -The difference in lung capacity (L) between Athletes and Non-Athletes

Authors Avatar by royalbeauty716gmailcom (student)

The effect of exercise (mins) on lung capacity (L) measured by a spirometer in 15 female basketball players and 15 female non-athletes aged 16-17 years old


Breathing occurs due to the contraction and relaxation of the intercostal muscles and the diaphragm. During inhalation, these tighten, dropping pressure in the lungs and allowing for air to enter. During exhalation, these respiratory muscles relax, and lung pressure returns to normal.

  These measurements of lung capacity can be measured through a spirometer, a device that measures the speed and efficiency through which air moves in and out of the lungs (P. Walker and L. Key). I was interested in this topic because as a basketball player, usually a PG, which is a position that requires quite a bit of running, I often run out of breath slower than my non-athlete friends, but faster than some of my basketball teammates. I am curious to see if this is due to me attending less practices over the years as I began focusing on academics more. In this investigation, I am measuring the lung capacity (litres) of my teammates on the girls' basketball team after practice and comparing it to that of people who do not participate in exercise (time) on an athletic level. The objective of this experiment is to determine if athletes, specifically female basketball players, have a larger lung capacity than non-athletes. The methodology used to obtain data from this experiment includes the use of a spirometer, which is outlined in the procedure section. Since humans can be difficult to control, the sex, age and number of participants is generally being kept the same, as only females are being measured, of ages ranging 16-17 and 15 trials are being conducted for both female basketball players and non-athletes. The uncontrolled variables include the height, weight, ethnicity and existing health conditions of participants. This is due to the limited number of female basketball players on my team. The effects of these variables will be mitigated by careful keeping these factors as constant as possible, as the age of participants will be kept the same in general.

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Research Question: What is the effect of exercise (mins) on lung capacity (L) measured by a spirometer in 15 female basketball players and 15 female non-athletes aged 16-17 years old?

Hypothesis: If lung capacity is related to exercise, then female athletes should have a higher lung capacity than female non-athletes. This would be due to athletes having a higher intake of oxygen and use of the lungs while performing exercises, which would strengthen and cause their lungs to expand and therefore increase their ability to breathe more air.


Independent Variable – exercise (mins)

Dependent Variable ...

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