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Crude way to measure lung capacity...

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New Member
Dec 23, 2004
Is there any easy way to measure my lung capacity without using any special equipment? I can picture blowing air into a submerged container to displace the water but is there some way I am not thinking of? Thanks
Try blowing into a balloon for vital capacity or measuring your weight/buoyancy in a pool.
Hi Pat,

Your idea with a couple of clear plastic jugs and a hose works quite well. Not sure how the absolute accuracy of its results compare with the "proper" equipment, but I found it to be very repeatable and just fine for most purposes.

Hey Bill
The balloon idea sounds good, but if your blown up many balloons it seems that the consistensy varies quite a lot. Also after you have blown a balloon up and stretch it out, it blows up much easier the second time.

It seems that the hose to a container would be a reasonable good crude method. I have a large 4 cup measuring cup made of glass that I have used in a tub of water. I reversed breathed through my snorkle and blew air into the completely flooded measuring cup. I can give you consistant measurable results. I was able to see the slight increases in my progress.
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Great guys, thanks. I will use the container/tube idea. I too think that a balloon compresses the air in it and unless you then put the air into a container to measure that it would be hard to guage using a baloon.
I use a Papylus 6l (it holds about 6.5l) water container. Is one of those transparent foldable containers you find on outdoors shops. It doesn't take any pressure to inflate then, and you feel easily when they are full (the point where you start to apply pressure).

I measured the total volume (water and measuring cup). I blow it up and see more or less what is left. I then add a bit of water and blow it again until I can inflate totally the container. Last I measure the water I've add.

This was the theory... after two sessions I find out I can blow totally the container and lost interest on the mater.
The jug and hose works fine for me... It's hard not to spill water everywhere though.

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