Complete Normal Body Oxygen Index Table (Breath Holding Time)

- Updated on November 10, 2021

Here is a more detailed Table of Table 4 from the web page Normal Body Oxygen Index – Control Pause in Healthy People

Abbreviations for the Table: “max” – maximum; “norm” – normal; “out” – outhale or exhalation; “in” – “inhalation”; “tr” – trained; “imm.” – face immersed in water. In their medical and physiological research articles, the breath holding time test was done after some breathing maneuvers (maximum inhalation, or 3 deep breaths, etc.). The explanation for corresponding CP (Control Pause, or body oxygen level, or body oxygen level, or BHT) calculations are given below.

Table 4b. Complete Normal Body Oxygen Index Table

Types of people
# of
Conditions (order
of actions
before BHT test)
% of
for CP*
US aviators31941 s68 sMax out, large in60%Schneider, 1919
Fit instructors2246 s67 sMax out, norm in70%Flack, 1920
Defence pilots2449 s72 sMax out, norm in70%Flack, 1920
British candidates2347 s69 sMax out, norm in70%Flack, 1920
US candidates745 s66 sMax out, norm in70%Flack, 1920
Delivery pilots2739 s57 sMax out, norm in70%Flack, 1920
Pilots – scouts1542 s62 sMax out, norm in70%Flack, 1920
Min requir.:flying34 s49 sMax out, norm in70%Flack, 1920
Normal subjects2039 s65 sMax out, large in60%Schneider, 1930
Normal subjects3023 s58 sMax in40%Friedman, 1945
Normal subjects744 s115 sMax out, max in38%Ferris et al, 1946
Normal subjects2233 s45 sNorm in73%Mirsky et al, 1946
Aviation students4836 s90 sMax in40%Karpovich, 1947
Normal subjects8028 s70 sMax in40%Rodbard, 1947
Normal subjects341 s82 sNorm out, tr.50%Stroud, 1959
Normal subjects1616 s48 sMax: in, out, in33.3%Kohn .., 1970
Normal subjects628 s76 sMax out, max in38 %Davidson .., 1974
Normal subjects1622 s56 sMax in40 %Stanley et al, 1975
Normal subjects729 s77 sMax out, max in38 %Gross et al, 1976
Normal subjects636 s36 sNorm out100%Bartlett, 1977
Normal subjects933 s55 sNorm out, tr.60%Mukhtar et al, 1986
Normal subjects2036 s60 sNorm out, tr.60%Morrissey et al, 1987
Normal subjects1425 s74 sDeep breath 50%O233.3%Zandbergen .., 1992
Normal subjects2621 s21 sNorm out100%Asmudson .., 1994
Normal subjects3036 s36 sNorm out100%Taskar et al, 1995
Normal subjects7625 s67 sMax out, max in38%McNally & Eke, 1996
Normal subjects832 s35 sNorm out, tr.90%Sasse et al, 1996
Normal subjects1038 s38 sNorm out100%Flume et al, 1996
Normal subjects3129 s32 sNorm out, supine90%Marks et al, 1997
Normal males3629 s29 sNorm out100%Joshi et al, 1998
Normal females3323 s23 sNorm out100%Joshi et al, 1998
Healthy subjects2038 s108 sMax in, tr.35%Morooka et al, 2000
Normal subjects630 s60 sUsual exhale, tr.50%Bosco et al, 2004
Normal subjects1930 s33 sUsual exhale, tr.90%Mitrouska .., 2007
Healthy subjects1434 s114 sMax out-in, imm., tr.30%Andersson .., 2009

Notes. * “Handbook of physiology”, after analysing numerous relevant publications, suggested the following proportions for BHT measurements (Mithoefer, 1965). If BHT after full inhalation is 100%; then BHT after normal inhalation is 55%; BHT after normal exhalation is 40%; BHT after full exhalation is 24%. Taking an additional full exhalation or inhalation before starting the test increases BHT by about 5 or 15% respectively for each manoeuvre. Subjects, who have repetitive breath holds in a day, experience the “training” effect that gradually increases maximum breath holding time (up to 30%), but the BHT test done until first stress or initial discomfort is not improved using such training. This information allows us to compare different BHT tests done during almost a century of clinical investigations, if we use some standard conditions for the test. In order to do that, let me introduce the CP (Control Pause): the CP is BHT after quiet or usual expiration and only until first sensation of air-hunger (a stress-free version of the test). For people who practiced breath holding many times per day, BHT for as long as possible after usual exhalation is about 2 times longer then the CP due to the “training effect”. For naive people, it is only about 30% greater.
**. Zandbergen et al, 1992 conducted their experiments with the mixture of 50% O2 and 50% N2. According to Ferris with his colleagues (1945), such mixture increases normal BHT by about 50%.

References for Table Normal Breath Holding Time – Control Pause in Healthy People

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