The lungs

  • Expansion of / decrease in the number of alveoli (and therefore of the total respiratory surface)
  • Reduction of the elasticity of the lungs due to a higher proportion of insoluble collagen
  • Thickening of the basal membrane in the lung capillaries
  • The functioning of the lung depends on the mobility of the thorax
  • Age-related rib cartilage ossifications of the spinal column lead to increased shrinkage of the thorax
  • Reduction of the vital capacity and maximum ventilation (see fig. 2) (c.f. Weineck, Sportbiologie (Sport Biology), 2000)

Fig.2 Respiration Changes in Old Age graph