How Long Can A Person Exhale (And Why)?

How Long Can A Person Exhale (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Thirty Seconds To Two Minutes

Exhalation, which is primarily known as expiration, is the process of breathing out of an organism. It refers to air out of the Airways through the lung in the surrounding during breathing in animals or human beings. Our lungs have elastic properties that help us in exhalation.

The rib cage of our body is lowered with the help of the internal intercostal muscles, which results in a decrease of thoracic volume. Because of this, the thoracic diaphragm is relaxed and causes the depressed tissue to rise and pressurize the lungs to expel the air superiorly. The exhaled air consists mainly of carbon dioxide and a few other gases.

How Long Can A Person

How Long Can A Person Exhale?

Carbon Dioxide is considered a waste product in the human body. It is necessary to remove an excessive amount of carbon dioxide as it can be harmful to an individual. However, plants exhale oxygen in place of carbon dioxide as the inhale carbon dioxide helps synthesize the plant’s food. The intake of air is termed inhalation and is complimentary of exhalation. Just like an exhalation, the lungs are also used in inhalation. The exhaled gases are removed from the pulmonary capillaries.

As soon as the diaphragm relaxes, it pushes the lungs upwards, and the air flows firstly through the trachea and then, with the help of the larynx and pharynx, move to the nasal cavity and then to the oral cavity. Eventually, it is expelled out of the body. It has been found that the nervous system is responsible for the regulation of respiration in humans. The exhaled air also consists of various volatile organic compounds such as methanol, acetone, isoprene, ethanol, and a few others.

Condition Of LungsDuration Of Exhalation
HealthyOne to two minutes
UnhealthyThirty to fifty seconds

As lungs are the most critical used organ while breathing, a person with a healthy lung can exhale for one to two minutes without stopping. In comparison, a person whose lung is unhealthy or damaged can exhale for a maximum of sixty seconds without taking a break. It is important not to put a lot of pressure on the lungs while exhaling as it can damage the lungs badly.

Why Can A Person Exhale For That Long?

As respiration is a vital process, it is essential to take time while inhaling and exhaling air. However, it must be ensured that an individual is not over-breathing, medically termed as hyperventilation, leading a person to expel too much air. As a result, a lot of carbon dioxide is removed from the body, resulting in the brain’s impairment of blood flow. It can result in hypoxia, which refers to less amount of oxygen levels in cells and tissues.

There are two types of expiration, namely voluntary expiration, and involuntary expiration. A few people also considered yawning as exhalation. Still, it has been proven medically that yawning is a process in which there is no use of lungs, and thus it falls under the category of non-respiratory gas movement. It is believed that yawning happens to regulate the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels of our body. Whether it be inhalation or exhalation, it is done by the nose. However, the mouth can also be used for the same.

It is essential to exhale to balance the intake and removal of air in our body. An excess amount of gas in our body’s system might fasten the body’s blood flow, leading to the shortening of blood in a particular part. It is advised to seek a medical practitioner in case a person is facing any issues while breathing.


Overall, it can be concluded that exhalation refers to the removal of extra gases in our body consisting mainly of carbon dioxide. Lungs play a very crucial role in the entire process. There are two types of exhalation, and yawning is not considered as exhalation.

On average, a person can exhale anywhere between thirty seconds to two minutes, depending on whether the lungs are healthy or not. It must be made sure not to pressurize the lungs a lot as it can be harmful. A medical expert should be called immediately in case a person faces any breathing issues. The nose is mainly used to exhale.


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22 thoughts on “How Long Can A Person Exhale (And Why)?”

  1. Very informative article, I had no idea that a person could exhale for that long, thank you for sharing this valuable information!

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