Average Breath Holding Time – Body Oxygen in Normal Subjects

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- Updated on October 29, 2020

Average Breath Holding Time - Body Oxygen in Normal Subjects 1By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author

- Medically Reviewed by Naziliya Rakhimova, MD

Average Breath Holding Time – Body Oxygen in Normal Subjects

<p style=”display: none;”>Proofread by Samson Hui Proofreader on July **, 2019</p>


This table below summarizes available western data for (medical and physiological research articles) regarding average breath holding time (or body-oxygen test or CP – Control Pause) for normal and healthy people. Note that some of the studies were conducted almost a century ago.

The Breath Holding Time test is done after normal or usual exhalation in normal or healthy subjects and only until the first signs of stress or discomfort. If the test was done in different conditions, the results were adjusted to this specific test (after usual exhalation and only until initial stress). The procedure of adjustment is described below.

Table. Control Pause in normal and healthy people according to various medical references

Types of people investigatedNumber of subjectsControl Pause, sReferences
US aviators31941 sSchneider, 1919
Fit instructors2246 sFlack, 1920
Home defense pilots2449 sFlack, 1920
British candidates2347 sFlack, 1920
US candidates745 sFlack, 1920
Delivery pilots2739 sFlack, 1920
Pilots trained for scouts1542 sFlack, 1920
Min required. for flying34 sFlack, 1920
Normal subjects2039 sSchneider, 1930
Normal subjects3023 sFriedman, 1945
Normal subjects744 sFerris et al, 1946
Normal subjects2233 sMirsky et al, 1946
Aviation students4836 sKarpovich, 1947
Normal subjects8028 sRodbard, 1947
Normal subjects341 sStroud, 1959
Normal subjects1616 sKohn & Cutcher, 1970
Normal subjects628 sDavidson et al, 1974
Normal subjects1622 sStanley et al, 1975
Normal subjects729 sGross et al, 1976
Normal subjects636 sBartlett, 1977
Normal subjects933 sMukhtar et al, 1986
Normal subjects2036 sMorrissey et al, 1987
Normal subjects1425 sZandbergen et al, 1992
Normal subjects2621 sAsmudson & Stein, 1994
Normal subjects3036 sTaskar et al, 1995
Normal subjects7625 sMcNally & Eke, 1996
Normal subjects832 sSasse et al, 1996
Normal subjects1038 sFlume et al, 1996
Normal subjects3129 sMarks et al, 1997
Normal males3629 sJoshi et al, 1998
Normal females3323 sJoshi et al, 1998
Healthy subjects2038 sMorooka et al, 2000
Normal subjects630 sBosco et al, 2004
Normal subjects1930 sMitrouska et al, 2007
Healthy subjects1434 sAndersson et al, 2009

Average Breath Holding Time - Body Oxygen in Normal SubjectsBreath Holding Time, for these studies, was done in different conditions (e.g., after normal inhalation, or exhalation, or taking a very deep inhalation, or a complete exhalation, until first stress or as long as possible).

These different conditions for Breath Holding Time can produce large variations in results (by more than 200%). Moreover, sometimes patients are asked to take 2 or 3 deep breaths before the test. Since researchers use different methods for BHT measurements, the standardization of results is necessary in order for them to be compared. If you are interested in these details, visit Complete CP Table for normal and healthy subjects and see how these different tests were standardized.

Doctor Buteyko and his medical colleagues tested hundreds of thousands of patients for Breath Holding Time and found that over 60 s CP corresponds to ideal health when many modern diseases are virtually impossible.

It makes physiological sense since the development of chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, etc.) is based on cell hypoxia. High CPs indicate abundant oxygenation of cells and tissues, while sick people have reduced CP values (less than 20 s): Control Pause in Sick People due to overbreathing.

If you are interested in the following numbers:

  1. the maximum possible result for the body O2 test (CP)
  2. the maximum breath-holding without any deep breaths, or water immersion, or use of pure oxygen (as David Blaine and others often use for better results). In other words, you can only take one very deep breath before this test while sitting and breathing normal air.
    these numbers are provided as your bonus content.

1. The ideal CP is about 3 minutes.
2. The maximum breath holding time that corresponds to 3 min CP is about 7-9 minutes depending on the lung size, the training effect (willpower) and other factors. With extreme training, it can be more than 9 minutes.


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