So there is roughly 21% oxygen in the air. When taking a "normal" breath you saturate your blood with oxygen and exhale air with roughly 16% oxygen.

With that in mind, I am curious if changing your breathing patterns would actually have an effect on the amount of time before suffocation when trapped in an air pocket.

  • Sounds like a question for biology.se and not health. – Graham Chiu Jul 26 '18 at 2:07
  • Define "changing your breathing patterns." What does that mean? – Carey Gregory Jul 26 '18 at 4:26
  • I guess slowing breath may let muscle consume less oxygen, however don't have evidence to make this comment into an answer. – 把友情留在无盐 Jul 26 '18 at 11:52
  • Indirectly you slow down your metabolism to consume oxygen at a slower rate. – paparazzo Jul 29 '18 at 13:01
  • If I understand correctly, your question is basically whether survival would depend on the total amount of oxygen available, or the total time spent breathing. I'm guessing this might be inspired by the general advice along the lines of "we're low on oxygen - everybody hold your breath so that it lasts longer" that might be reiterated in movies or other stories, and you're wondering if that's sensible advice. If I got that right, you could add these ideas to clarify the question. – Armatus Jul 31 '18 at 16:58