Benefits of swimming in asthma: effect of a session of swimming lessons on symptoms and PFTs with review of the literature

J Asthma. 2003;40(5):453-64. doi: 10.1081/jas-120018706.


A study involving eight children with moderate persistent asthma was undertaken to determine whether standard swimming lessons improved symptoms and pulmonary function tests (PFTs) in asthmatic children. Five children ages 7-12 years old with moderate persistent asthma were randomized to a swimming lesson group (5- to 6-week session) and three to a control group. Both groups completed pre- and poststudy period PFTs and symptom questionnaires. Swimming lessons did not produce a significant change in asthma symptoms or PFTs. Review of previous literature found that swimming has been shown to have definite benefits in improving cardiorespiratory fitness in asthmatic children. Swimming has been shown to be less asthmogenic than other forms of exercise. Some studies have also shown improvement in asthma symptoms in children participating in exercise programs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Exercise Therapy* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Swimming / physiology*