[[abstract]]ABSTRACT Asthma is a common obstructive airway disease and the prevalence rate has increased in many countries, including Taiwan. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a 6-week swimming intervention for children with asthma on pulmonary function testing and the severity of asthma. Pulmonary function testing included: forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), percentage of FEV1/FVC(%) and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). Thirty children (20 male and 10 female) served as subjects in this study. Subjects were patients from the Chest Medicine Section at Ping-Tung Christian Hospital, Taiwan. The mean age was 9.9±1.6 years, the mean height 138.4±10.3 cm, and the mean body weight 38.5±12.3 kg. The subjects were paired and randomly assigned into the experimental or the control group, with 15 subjects in each group. Besides regular treatment for their asthma, the experimental group received a 6-week swimming training (3 sessions a week with 50 minutes per session). Results showed that there was a significant improvement in FEV1 and PEFR for the experimental group after the 6-week swimming intervention（p<.05）. There was no significant improvement in FVC, FEV1 and PEFR in the control group. There were no differences between the experimental and control groups in the percentage of FEV1/FVC(%). The severity of the asthma was significantly reduced in the experimental group(p<.05). Conclusion: These data suggest that a swimming program can improve pulmonary function parameters and reduce the severity of the asthma attack for asthmatic children. Key words: swimming, asthma, children, pulmonary function testing
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