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Respiratory System

Last Updated on Nov 27, 2023
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Breathing Rate

  • An average adult's normal breathing rate is 12 to 20 breaths per minute (1 Trusted Source
    Vital Sign Assessment

    Go to source
    ).
  • Every day, the average person takes approximately 17,000 breaths.
  • Breathing consumes more than half a liter of water every day.

Newborn’s Breathing

  • The average respiratory rate of a newborn baby is about 30–60 breaths per minute (2 Trusted Source
    Respiratory Distress in the Newborn

    Go to source
    ).
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Human Lungs

  • Normal healthy lungs are pinkish-gray in color.
  • The right lung has three lobes, whereas the left lung has two lobes.
  • Each lung contains 300-350 million respiratory units called alveoli, for a total of 700 million in both lungs (3 Trusted Source
    Histology, Lung

    Go to source
    ).

Amount of Oxygen

  • Our bodies consume approximately 550 liters of pure oxygen per day.
  • The oxygen percentage of the air we breathe is 21%, but out of that, only 5 percent is used by our body, and the rest is exhaled (4 Trusted Source
    The physics of human breathing: flow, timing, volume, and pressure parameters for normal, on-demand, and ventilator respiration

    Go to source
    ).
  • When compared to an 80 year old, people under the age of 30 inhale twice as much oxygen (5 Trusted Source
    Effect of aging on respiratory system physiology and immunology

    Go to source
    ).

Yawning and Oxygen

  • Yawning increases the amount of oxygen in the lungs (6 Trusted Source
    Yawning and its physiological significance

    Go to source
    ).
  • When the brain detects a shortage of oxygen, it causes it to take a long, deep breath or to yawn (6 Trusted Source
    Yawning and its physiological significance

    Go to source
    ).
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Floating Lungs

  • Lungs are the only body organs that can float on water and are largely related to the air that is contained within alveoli.

Size of the Lungs

  • The lungs would be around the size of a tennis court if they were unfolded and expanded out to their maximum extent (7 Trusted Source
    Tennis Courts in the Human Body: A Review of the Misleading Metaphor in Medical Literature

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    ).
  • The left lung tends to be smaller than the right lung to accommodate the heart (8 Trusted Source
    Anatomy, Thorax, Lungs

    Go to source
    ).
  • If the capillaries of the lungs were placed end to end, they could extend up to 1,600 kilometers (9 Trusted Source
    What is asbestos?

    Go to source
    ).

Lung Capacity

  • The average lung capacity of an adult is about 6 liters (10 Trusted Source
    Physiology, Lung Capacity

    Go to source
    ).
  • Males tend to have a larger lung capacity than females (10 Trusted Source
    Physiology, Lung Capacity

    Go to source
    ).

Speed of the Sneeze

  • The highest sneeze speed ever recorded is 165 km per hour (11 Trusted Source
    Public Health assessment

    Go to source
    ).

Singing for Lung Health

  • Singing improves lung function by increasing lung capacity, strengthening the diaphragm and intercostal muscles, and promoting better breath control (12 Trusted Source
    Singing for Lung Health - a systematic review of the literature and consensus statement

    Go to source
    ).

Non-respiratory Movements

  • Coughing, crying, laughing, and sneezing are the non-respiratory movements of the respiratory tract (13 Trusted Source
    Multifunctional Laryn geal Premotor Neurons: Their Activities during Breathing, Coughing, Sneezing, and Swallowing

    Go to source
    ).

References:

  1. Vital Sign Assessment - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553213/)
  2. Respiratory Distress in the Newborn - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4533247/)
  3. Histology, Lung - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534789/)
  4. The physics of human breathing: flow, timing, volume, and pressure parameters for normal, on-demand, and ventilator respiration - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8672270/ )
  5. Effect of aging on respiratory system physiology and immunology - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695176/)
  6. Yawning and its physiological significance - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678674/)
  7. Tennis Courts in the Human Body: A Review of the Misleading Metaphor in Medical Literature - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8863270/)
  8. Anatomy, Thorax, Lungs - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470197/)
  9. What is asbestos? - (https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/NEWS/libby-pha1-appbc.pdf )
  10. Physiology, Lung Capacity - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541029/)
  11. Public Health assessment - (https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/NEWS/libby-pha.pdf)
  12. Singing for Lung Health - a systematic review of the literature and consensus statement - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5131649/)
  13. Multifunctional Laryn geal Premotor Neurons: Their Activities during Breathing, Coughing, Sneezing, and Swallowing - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6672375/)
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