Spanish flag with link to a page about Average Breath Holding Time

Average Breath Holding Time - Body Oxygen in Normal Subjects

This table below summarizes available western data (medical and physiological research articles) regarding average breath holding times (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 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 investigated Numberof subjects ControlPause, s References
US aviators 319 41 s Schneider, 1919
Fit instructors 22 46 s Flack, 1920
Home defense pilots 24 49 s Flack, 1920
British candidates 23 47 s Flack, 1920
US candidates 7 45 s Flack, 1920
Delivery pilots 27 39 s Flack, 1920
Pilots trained for scouts 15 42 s Flack, 1920
Min requir. for flying - 34 s Flack, 1920
Normal subjects 20 39 s Schneider, 1930
Normal subjects 30 23 s Friedman, 1945
Normal subjects 7 44 s Ferris et al, 1946
Normal subjects 22 33 s Mirsky et al, 1946
Aviation students 48 36 s Karpovich, 1947
Normal subjects 80 28 s Rodbard, 1947
Normal subjects 3 41 s Stroud, 1959
Normal subjects 16 16 s Kohn & Cutcher, 1970
Normal subjects 6 28 s Davidson et al, 1974
Normal subjects 16 22 s Stanley et al, 1975
Normal subjects 7 29 s Gross et al, 1976
Normal subjects 6 36 s Bartlett, 1977
Normal subjects 9 33 s Mukhtar et al, 1986
Normal subjects 20 36 s Morrissey et al, 1987
Normal subjects 14 25 s Zandbergen et al, 1992
Normal subjects 26 21 s Asmudson & Stein, 1994
Normal subjects 30 36 s Taskar et al, 1995
Normal subjects 76 25 s McNally & Eke, 1996
Normal subjects 8 32 s Sasse et al, 1996
Normal subjects 10 38 s Flume et al, 1996
Normal subjects 31 29 s Marks et al, 1997
Normal males 36 29 s Joshi et al, 1998
Normal females 33 23 s Joshi et al, 1998
Healthy subjects 20 38 s Morooka et al, 2000
Normal subjects 6 30 s Bosco et al, 2004
Normal subjects 19 30 s Mitrouska et al, 2007
Healthy subjects 14 34 s Andersson et al, 2009

Beads on strings Breath holding, 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 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 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:
- the maximum possible result for the body O2 test (CP)
- 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.

Tweet or Share this page to reveal the bonus content.


  1. References for Table Normal Breath Holding Time - Control Pause in Healthy People
  2. Control Pause to Measure Breathing Effectiveness for Runners (From
  3. Breathing Exercise 1: The Control Pause (From

New breathing students with terminal conditions (end-stage disease) are accepted on with Dr. Artour's Triple Guarantee.

You can leave your grammatically correct feedback and/or comment on the most relevant page. It may be below. Thanks.

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Back to the homepage