How to calculate incentive spirometry?

As we all know, humans need air to survive. As much as we’d like to believe that just standing and breathing is enough of an exercise for the lungs, it’s not.

This is where incentive spirometry comes in handy. It helps us improve our lung function by simulating natural deep breathing exercises.

Now you may be wondering how on earth do I calculate incentive spirometry?

Well my friend, strap in and get ready for a ride because today we’re going through everything there is to know about calculating your best results when it comes to incentive spirometry!

What Exactly Is Incentive Spirometry?

Before diving into how we can calculate this exciting subject, let’s take a quick moment to understand what exactly it means.

Incentive Spirometers are small devices consisting of a mouthpiece connected with tubing and a measurement tool attached at one end. The device utilizes visual incentives such as floating balls within the clear enclosure or built-in indicators that enable patients’ optimal deep inhalations capacity for better recovery after surgery or illness from collapsed (atelectasis) lungs / weak respiratory muscles.

When Should You Use An Incentive Spirometer?

The use of an incentive spirometer (IS) could greatly help you reduce certain risks when experiencing pulmonary disorders.

Here are some common reasons why someone might use an IS:

  • After undergoing major abdominal surgeries
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Pneumonia
  • During hospitalization post-surgery

Keep in mind that these are only general guidelines; your doctor should give specific instructions according to your own condition, treatment plan and physiology

How Do You Set Up Your IS?

It’s pretty simple – Just adhere closely these steps below on setting up yours correctly:

  1. Locate the device’s mouthpiece and tubing.
  2. Connect the tubing to the Incentive Spirometer.
  3. Place your lips firmly around the mouthpiece, sealing with your teeth so that air only goes via spirometer.
  4. You are set.

It’s important when setting up your incentive spirometer; you align yourself in a 90-degree sitting position optimally for optimal performance..

Calculating Your Best Results

Incentive spirometry tracking focuses on how much inspired oxygen volumetric capacity during inhalation occurs in one session, in cmH2O(s) which is displayed prominently visually within most devices settings gauge indicators after each breath cycle completion.

Stepping Up To The Plate: Performing Incentive Spirometry

First things first—you must understand which lung volume measurement parameters you’ll need to assess as this includes:

  • Tidal Volume (VT)
  • Inspiratory Reserve Volume (IRV)
  • Expiratory Reserve Volume (ERV)

Once those values have been successfully measured, add them together!

The result of their addition will give us our Slow Vital Capacityor SVC -which is simply what we call total capacity of amount of air someone can inhale slowly and exhale completely at once given no loading factors influencing breathing patterns/capacity…

Calculating Slow Vital Capacity From Scratch:

#### Find Your Tidal Volumes –

A device measures respiratory volumes through safe force-pulled retraction movement meters using affordable units called pneumo transducers/ sensors or electric flowing turbine mechanism which measure per-respirations tidal volumes mechanically/electronically/computational digital modes by default without user intervention required such as well established inspiratory flow resistance systems like in Acapella

How To Measure IRV( INspiratio Respirator) :

If possible try estimating this value more accurately than just guessing based on weight/body type alone.

Get a measurement device that you must connect to your airway tube or respitrace belt for gauge. Then,

  1. Breathe into the disposable mouthpiece normally(5 times is good)
  2. Hold your breath (PAUSE THERE!)
  3. Inhale as much air in one instance slowly and deeply (Big inhale to max capacity without overstretching ribs/vascular system)

It’s not as difficult as it sounds, and may take just some practice at first but often should become intuitive with repeated use until muscle memory kicks in!

Next up: Expiratory Reserve Volume:

Another important parameter involved when determining Slow Vital Capacity is finding out what your expiratory reserve volume is.
Here’s how you can determine this value – follow these easy steps:

1)Inhale and exhale normally
2)Forcefully breathe out all of the remaining air through spirometer down to residual functional capacity(RCF).
3)Again stop aim at measuring by blowing again using the incentive spirometer
4)The Forced vital capacity(FVC) will reduce.RCF afterwards equals Expriatory Residual Volume.

Voila! Now we have all required lung function measurements required to calculate our SLOW VITAL CAPACITY(SVC).

To Recap—
– Tidal Volume+Expiratory Reserve Volume + Inspiratory Reserve Volume = SVC
– You now know your Slow Vital Capacity.

Some devices come with built-in calibration tools. Even If yours doesn’t happen to have an automated mechanism/engine for recalibration of its systems then no need worry — calibrating manually shouldn’t be too hard.

Factors Influencing Incentive Spirometry Results

Sadly—it’s not just a simple “plug & play” operation; there are other factors such as possible age, weight, gender among other variances which may affect the results.

But hey, nobody said that improving lung capability was going to be easy. On the bright side—if these differences do occur, don’t get discouraged! Just chat with your doctor on what you can reasonably expect and work from there.


Incentive Spirometry is a very important tool for those looking to improve their lung function or recover from surgery.It takes some time and patience but once utilized correctly could really make all difference!

With this guide—now you know how calculate incentive spirometry through various essential parameters such as Tidal Volume, Inspiratory Reserve Volume & Expiratory Residual Capacity- All which are vital indicators towards breathing health improvement optimization goals.

Here’s hoping our insights help spark an improved understanding of its benefits; Driven by interest towards furthering education each day we write

Let’s start inhaling max capacity today shall we?

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