Women have a lung capacity below that of a man of the same size. The average women’s vital capacity is between three and four liters. By using the formula for vital capacity for both males and females, a man and woman, both five feet six inches tall would have a difference in estimated vital capacities ranging from 14.5 percent at age twenty to 25.3 percent at age eighty.
Women do not have the capacity for inhaling, storing, and using air that men do. “Their potential for moving air out rapidly from their lungs should be quite high, but they do not have the quantity—it’s quality without quantity. Most of the time you will find that women will have quite a percentage less lung capacity due to the contouring of the ribs and the general smallness of their structure, compared to the males. With smaller vital capacities, women cannot waste air, they must take in a comfortably large breath and use it efficiently. “A large male can afford to limit his breathing. A small female cannot.”