Exploring sport online: Athletes and efficient hearts
Exploring sport online: Athletes and efficient hearts

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Exploring sport online: Athletes and efficient hearts

6 Athletes, oxygen and the lungs

6.1 Introduction

We have learnt that part of the reason the heart pumps blood around is to make sure that the body gets a fresh supply of oxygen. So in the same way that our hearts need to keep beating, we need to keep breathing oxygen into our lungs to survive. But what is the function of oxygen? Why does our body need oxygen, and what does it do with it once we have breathed it in? These are some of the questions that we will examine in first part of this section.

In the second part of this section, we will look at the role of oxygen and the lungs in sport. The ability to use a large amount of oxygen efficiently is one of the most important physical attributes that an athlete can have. There are also, however, some sports for which the ability to efficiently use large amounts of oxygen is not very important at all, as we shall see.

Y164_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus