American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN (Print): 2333-4592 ISSN (Online): 2333-4606 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2013, 1(4), 56-58
DOI: 10.12691/ajssm-1-4-1
Open AccessArticle

Swimming Exercises Increase Peak Expiratory Flow Rate in Elderly Men

Kaori Sato1, , Yu Konishi1, Masakatsu Nakada1 and Tadayoshi Sakurai2

1National Defense Academy of Japan, Department of Physical Education, Hashirimizu, Yokosuka-City, Kanagawa, Japan

2Nippon Sport Science University Graduate School of Health & Sport Science, Fukazawa Setagaya-ku Tokyo, Japan

Pub. Date: October 21, 2013

Cite this paper:
Kaori Sato, Yu Konishi, Masakatsu Nakada and Tadayoshi Sakurai. Swimming Exercises Increase Peak Expiratory Flow Rate in Elderly Men. American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2013; 1(4):56-58. doi: 10.12691/ajssm-1-4-1


Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) refers to the maximum velocity of expiration. Because PEFR can quantitatively represent the state of airway stenosis, it is often used as a long-term measurement for bronchial asthma patients with chronically obstructed breathing. Our main aim in the present study was to evaluate the long-term effect of swimming exercises on elderly people by measuring PEFR, and the secondary aim was to investigate whether the effect is gender-associated. Subjects were aged ≥ 65 years and did not have a current or past history of smoking, respiratory diseases, and/or heart diseases (8 men; mean age, 81.8 ± 4.7 years; mean height, 161.1 ± 7.5 cm; mean weight, 59.8 ± 8.0 kg; mean swimming history, 12.6 ± 5.1 years; 13 women; mean age, 77.5 ± 3.5 years; mean height, 149.9 ± 4.2 cm; mean weight, 54.5 ± 8.2 kg; mean swimming history, 12.0 ± 4.4 years). Subjects swam the breaststroke and/or crawl based on their preference for about 25 minutes. All subjects performed swimming exercises in the same swimming facility for 7 months. During this period, all subjects swam once a week and exercised a total of 28 times. PEFR of male subjects gradually increased during the observation period (P < 0.05), and significant increases were seen at 16 weeks, 24 weeks, and 28 weeks, compared to first-time measurements (P < 0.05). PEFR in elderly males increased by swimming once a week for 28 weeks, while PEFR in elderly females did not significantly change throughout the study period. This may suggest that the PEFR increasing effect of swimming on elderly people is gender-dependent.

swimming elderly PEFR PEF respiratory function

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


Figure of 1


[1]  “National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute,” International Consensus Report on diagnosis and Treatment of Asthma, NIH Bethesda, Maryland 20892. European Respiratory Journal, 5 (5). 601-41. May. 1992.
[2]  Hirano, H., Enamido, K., Suzuki, N., “Examination of the peak flow level in the Shinjuku-ku asthma child swimming classroom participation child”, Information & Knowledge Database of Tokyo Women's Medical University, 65 (9). 792-793. Sep. 1995.
[3]  Gelb, A.F. and Zamel, N., ”Simplified diagnosis of small-airway obstruction”, The New England Journal Medicine, 288. 395-398. Feb. 1973.
[4]  Kurokawa, T., and Ikegami, H., “Closing volume and lung volumes during swimming and bicycling”, The Japanese Society of physical Fitness and Sport Medicine, 30. 220-227. Feb. 1981.
[5]  Matsui, T., Miyachi, M., Hoshijima, Y., Takahashi, K., Yamamoto, K., Yoshioka, A. and Onodera, S., “Effects of water immersion on systemic cardiovascular responses during recovery period following steady state land exercise”, The Japanese Society of physical Fitness and Sport Medicine, 51 (3). 265-273. Feb. 2002.
[6]  Ide, M.R., Belini, M.A.V., and Caromano, F.A., “Effects of an aquatic versus non-aquatic respiratory exercise program on the respiratory muscle strength in healthy aged persons”, Clinics [online]. 60. 151-158. 2005.
[7]  Sato, K., and Sakurai, T., “Effects of Water Exercise Compared to Land Walking on Cardiopulmonary Functions of the Elderly”, Journal of Physical Exercise and Sports Science 18. 1-8. Dec. 2012.
[8]  Tanizaki, Y., Kitani, H., Okazaki, M., Mifune, T., Mitsunobu, F., Tanimizu, M., Honke, N., Kusaura, Y., Takatori, A., Okuda, H., and Kimura, I., “Bronchial asthma in the elderly, Ventilatory function in each clinical asthma type”, Annual Reports of Misasa Medical Branch, Okayama University Medical School, 63. 44-49. June. 1992.
[9]  Iwamoto, M., Dodo, H., Ueda, Y., Yoneda J., and Morie T., “A Study of Pulmonary Functions in Elderly Men and Women by Flow-Volume Curve”, The Japanese Society for hygiene 37(6). 886-891. Feb. 1983.
[10]  Town, G.P. and Bradley, S.S., “ Maximal metabolic response of deep and shallow water running in trained runners”, Medicine Science Sports and Exercise 23(2). 238-241. Feb. 1991.
[11]  American College of Sports Medicine, Resource manual for guidelines for exercise testing and prescription, Lea& Febiger, Philadelphia. 205-222, 1988.
[12]  Hotta, N., Ogaki, T., Kanaya, S., and Hagiwara. H., “Exercise Treatment to Low Physical Fitness Level's Patients in Water.,” Journal of Health Science 15, 57-61.1993.
[13]  Holmer, I., Stein, E.M., Saltin, B., Ekblom, B. and Astrand, P. O., “Hemodynamic and respiratory responses compared in swimming and running”, Journal of Applied Physiology, 37. 49-54. July. 1974.
[14]  Bachman, J.C., and Horvath, S.M., “Pulmonary function changes which accompany athletic condition program”, Research Quarterly, 39. 235-239. May. 1968.
[15]  Japan Swim Federation, Swimming instruction doctrine-Revised edition. Taisyukan, Bunnkyouku-Tokyo, 1-4. Mar 2011.