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Original Research

Open Access

Respiratory muscle strength and pulmonary functions in athletes: differences by BMI classifications

  • Emre Karaduman1
  • Özgür Bostancı2
  • Levent Bayram2

1Department of Trainer Education, University of Ondokuz Mayıs, 55139 Samsun, Turkey

2Department of Physical Education and Sport Teacher, Ondokuz Mayıs University, 55139 Samsun, Turkey

DOI: 10.31083/jomh.2021.076

Submitted: 17 May 2021 Accepted: 02 July 2021

Online publish date: 19 July 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Emre Karaduman E-mail:

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Background and objective: The respiratory capacity, which substantially affects exercise perfor-mance, tends to be affected by many factors such as anthropometric characteristics and different sports branches. We know which body mass index (BMI) category negatively affects pulmonary functions (PFs) in sedentary, but it is unclear in the athlete population. Thus, the first aim of this study was to compare respiratory muscle strength (RMS) and PFs in athletes according to BMI categories. Furthermore, we examined whether different sports disciplines affect RMS and PFs as a second aim in the study.

Methods: Athletes were divided into four groups according to BMI categories (<18.5, 18.5–24.9, 25.0–29.9, and ≥30.0 kg/m2) and two groups (individual and team) according to their sport disciplines.

Results: The results showed that significant differences in MIP (cmH2O), MEP (cmH2O), FVC (lt), and FEV1 (lt) scores according to BMI categories (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05). We found that the highest RMS scores were in the 18.5–24.9 and 25.0–29.9 kg/m2 BMI categories (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05). Also, it was revealed that individual athletes' MIP, MEP, FVC, and FEV1 scores were higher than others in sports disciplines (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that athletes' best RMS and PFs scores can be obtained in the 18.5-24.9 or 25.0-29.9 kg/m2 BMI categories. Accordingly, we consider that different BMI values have varied effects on the athletes' respiratory capacities and should be kept under constant control. Also, individual athletes had the highest RMS and PFs due to the characteristics of sports disciplines.


Body mass index; Respiratory functions; Sports disciplines; Individual athletes; Team athletes

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Emre Karaduman,Özgür Bostancı,Levent Bayram. Respiratory muscle strength and pulmonary functions in athletes: differences by BMI classifications. Journal of Men's Health. 2021.doi:10.31083/jomh.2021.076.


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