Exercise end-expiratory lung volumes in lean and moderately obese women

T. G. Babb, E. R. Buskirk, J. L. Hodgson

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44 Scopus citations


End-expiratory lung volumes (EELV) and expiratory flow rates were determined in 10 moderately obese (mean, 35 percent fat) and 10 relatively lean women (22 percent fat) at rest and during exercise on a treadmill at 55 and 85 percent of V̇(2max). Expiratory reserve volume (ERV) as a percentage of forced vital capacity (FVB) was used as an index of EELV. Differences in body weight, body fatness, and V̇(2max) were significant (P < 0.05). The resting EELV in the obese women was less than (P < 0.01) that in the leaner women (32 vs 37 percent). During exercise at the two intensities, the EELV remained near the resting value in the obese women (~ 30 percent). In contrast, the leaner women experienced an initial decrease in EELV during exercise at 55 percent of V̇(2max) (i.e., from 37 to 32 percent) (P < 0.01); thereafter, the EELV changed no further during exercise at 85 percent of V̇(2max). There were no significant differences in relative expiratory flow rates at test or during exercise between the obese and lean women. In conclusion, moderately obese women fail to decrease their EELV during exercise in contrast to leaner women who do. A non-linear respiratory system pressure-volume curve, plus increased resistance as maximal flow is approached may combine to determine a lower limit of EELV during exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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