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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Georgia State Study Yields Simpler Way to Gauge Ventilation during Activity

Research led by the School of Public Health at Georgia State University has created a new method for estimating how much air a person inhales and exhales, which could aid future research into air pollution exposure and physical activity.

Roby Greenwald School Of Public Health
[Photo: Dr. Roby Greenwald]

“To better understand the interaction of physical activity and air pollution exposure, it is important to quantify the change in ventilation rate incurred by activity,” the researchers stated. “The purpose of this study was to develop a simple method to easily quantify ventilation based on data that is readily available or easy to measure in the field using inexpensive equipment.”

The new model uses heart rate, breathing rate and forced vital capacity — a close estimate of how much air a person’s lungs can hold. Researchers noted that the key novel feature of this method is that ventilation rate is normalized by forced vital capacity in the model, which allows for data comparisons between people of differing body sizes.

To create the new method, researchers studied 15 high-school age boys and girls as they exercised on a treadmill at various speeds and intervals of time.

The results of the study are published in PLOS ONE in a paper titled “A Novel Method for Quantifying the Inhaled Dose of Air Pollutants Based on Heart Rate, Breathing Rate and Forced Vital Capacity.” The study’s lead author is Dr. Roby Greenwald, assistant professor of environmental health at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. Other authors are Dr. Matthew J. Hayat, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Georgia State University; and Mr. Jerusha Barton and Ms.Anastasia Lopukhin, former graduate research assistants at Emory University.