A woman in eastern China has become known as the “human alarm clock” for shouting loudly during her 6 am bike ride to boost her lung capacity. The woman has been a regular on her neighbourhood streets since October last year, shouting towards residential housing blocks with her arm stretched out towards the units. Her shouts can be heard across an entire block and last for almost 10 seconds. While shouting may temporarily increase lung capacity and strengthen some respiratory muscles, experts caution that the possible temporary benefits of shouting are far outweighed by the negative consequences, such as damage or disorders to the vocal cords.
Almost every day, a woman from eastern China goes for a 6 am bike ride around her community. However, it isn’t a quiet and peaceful ride. That is because while riding, she shouts loudly in an attempt to boost her lung capacity. Her shouts are so loud that she has been dubbed “human alarm clock” by neighbours, as reported by South China Morning Post.
The report further stated that the woman has been a regular on her neighbourhood streets in Anhui province since October last year. “As she passes on her bike, she shouts towards nearby residential housing blocks with one arm stretched out towards the units,” the report said, adding that her shouts can be heard across an entire block, earning her the nickname ‘human alarm clock’ and ‘da geng woman’.
Posting a video of the woman from his flat on Chinese video platform Douyin, a resident showed the woman cycling towards his building and then letting out a shout that lasted for almost 10 seconds. “Here’s another one,” he said in the video, as the woman let out another long shout.
With several commentators debating over the woman’s unusual lung exercise, let’s understand from experts if shouting can actually aid lung health. “Shouting does not specifically benefit lung health. However, while prolonged or excessive shouting can put a strain on the vocal cords and cause damage or disorders to them, it may also temporarily increase lung capacity and strengthen some respiratory muscles,” Dr Ambarish Joshi, senior consultant, Pulmonology, Primus Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi said, adding that this, however, is a temporary increase.
Agreeing, Dr Kamlesh Pandey, Consultant Chest Physician, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road said that According to an article in a study, shouting will allow to improve pulmonary functions and help oxygen travel throughout the body by increasing lung capacity. “However, there is no concrete evidence to prove this fact. It is better to speak to an expert and clear all doubts instead of believing hearsay things. Scream therapy or shouting can help one release stress and tension in the muscles, thereby making one feel happy. But, how it impacts the lungs is not known yet. We will have to wait for more research regarding this,” he said.
Experts further mentioned that the possible temporary benefits of shouting are far outweighed by the negative consequences. “Shouting too loudly or for too long can cause damage to the vocal cords and may lead to hoarseness or loss of voice. It can also cause irritation to the throat and lead to coughing and soreness. Moreover, it can also cause hearing damage to the person shouting or those around them,” Dr Joshi cautioned.
Therefore, instead of shouting, there are several better ways to improve lung capacity. “Regular exercise, especially cardio exercises like running, swimming, and cycling, can help improve lung function and capacity. Breathing exercises like pursed lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing can also help improve lung function and capacity. Quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to pollutants and irritants like dust, smoke, and chemicals can also help improve lung health,” Dr Pandey suggested.
It is important to take care of our lungs as they are an essential part of our respiratory system. They help us breathe in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, which is vital for our survival. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a medical expert before trying any unconventional methods to improve lung health.