The respiratory system includes the lungs and airways, as well as the mechanics of breathing, respiratory volumes, and VO2 max. Select from the options below to view more detailed information.
The function of the human respiratory system is to transport air into the lungs and facilitate the diffusion of oxygen into the bloodstream. It also receives waste Carbon Dioxide from the blood and exhales it. Here we explain the anatomy of the airways and how oxygen gets into the blood.
VO2 max is the measure of the peak volume of Oxygen (VO2) you can consume and use in a minute and is a popular measure of an athlete’s aerobic fitness. It is measured in ml/kg/min. The per kilogram part means that an athlete’s body weight is taken into account.
Respiratory volumes are the amount of air inhaled, exhaled, and stored within the lungs at any given time. There are a number of different measurements and terms which are often used to describe this including tidal volume, inspiratory reserve volume, residual volume, vital capacity, and more.
The action of breathing in and out is due to changes in pressure within the chest (thorax). This action is also known as external respiration and is created by the muscles of the chest and the diaphragm changing the size of the chest cavity (and air pressure).