Some factors affecting vital capacity are pregnancy, sex, age, physical fitness, muscle mass, elevation and disease, according to Boundless. Some factors like pregnancy and disease can decrease vital capacity, and others like physical fitness and muscle mass can increase it.
Vital capacity does not increase with age. According to the New Health Guide, vital capacity decreases with age. According to Clinical Interventions in Aging, lower vital capacity is the result of age-related decrease in residual capacity and residual volume.
When exercising, a person is capable of increasing vital capacity because the body becomes more efficient at utilizing oxygen, according to azcentral.com. While it varies among each unique individual, a person can increase vital capacity anywhere between 5 and 15 percent.
Vital capacity decreases with age due to physiological, anatomical and immunological changes that weaken the respiratory system over time. The lungs mature at age 20 to 25, and then progressively decline, according to a study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Vital capacity is defined as the amount of air that can be forcibly exhaled after a deep inspiration. The lung volume increases in a taller person due to increased thorax size and increased lung size.
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The variances in predicted vital capacity as related to height has to do with the size of the lungs and amount of room for the diaphragm to expand inside the body. Height is only one factor that is calculated into the vital capacity measurements.
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