Original Research

The effect of lower limb passive movement on lung function

S. Narain, J. Lin, T. Puckree
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 57, No 2 | a498 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v57i2.498 | © 2018 S. Narain, J. Lin, T. Puckree | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 August 2018 | Published: 31 May 2001

About the author(s)

S. Narain, Addington Hospital, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
J. Lin, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Zululand, South Africa
T. Puckree, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Durban-Westville, South Africa

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This study examined the effects of ankle passive movement on lung function in healthy adults. A pre-test post-test experimental design was used. Passive plantar and dorsiflexion of the ankle were performed at 60 repetitions per minute on 60 healthy subjects in the supine position. Lung function at rest was compared to that during passive movements. The results indicated that all measured parameters including the breathing frequency, tidal volume, minute ventilation, oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide output, increased significantly during passive movements as compared to those at rest. The authors conclude that passive movements elicit a significant ventilatory increase in healthy human subjects. The effect of passive movements in the treatment of unconscious or diseased individuals should be investigated.


passive movement; minute ventilation; cutaneous stimulation; breathing frequency; tidal volume


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