The relationship between maximum breath hold time in air and the ventilatory responses to immersion in cold water

Research paper by M. J. Tipton

Indexed on: 01 Sep '92Published on: 01 Sep '92Published in: European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology


Eight subjects performed maximum breath holds in air and naked head-out immersions of 2 min duration in stirred water at 5, 10 and 15° C. Analysis of the respiratory data collected in air and on immersion revealed a significant (P < 0.05) inverse relationship between the maximum breath hold time (tbh, max) of subjects in air and their frequency of breathing and inspiratory volumes on immersion. No such relationship was identified betweentbh, max in air and tidal volumes on immersion. It is concluded that thetbh, max of individuals in air may provide an indication of the magnitude of some of their respiratory responses to immersion. This information may be of use when personnel are being selected for activities with a high risk of immersion in cold water.