The objective of this study was to examine pre- and postexercise pulmonary function of males (13 children with asthma, 8 children without asthma) performing controlled exercise in 3 indoor sport environments: ice rink, gymnasium, and swimming pool. A positive test was defined as a 20% decrease in any of the forced expiratory values. Three children with asthma and 2 children without asthma had a greater than 20% decrease in FEV1 and FHVT following activity in the rink. One child with asthma had a greater than a 20% decrease in FEV1 following pool activity. In general, results showed children with asthma had a significant (p < .05) decrease in both FEV1 and FEVT% 5 min following exercise in the ice rink. No similar decrease was found 5 min following gymnasium and pool activity of the same intensity. In general, children without asthma maintained normal pulmonary function in all 3 environments. Evidence from this study would seem to suggest that the environmental conditions of the indoor ice rink may potentiate bronchospasm in some children with asthma.
T.W. Pelham is a physical therapist in private practice, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. L.E. Holt is with the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3J5, Canada. M.A. Moss is with the Department of Pathology at Dalhousie University.