Air Festival 2017

The Bournemouth Air Festival is an annual air show held along the coast at Bournemouth. It has featured aircraft from the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, as well as civil aviation displays.
This year I took part in the event, of course not as a pilot but as a researcher.

Bournemouth University has organised a great event in within the air festival: The scientific Tent. In which side by side researchers from BU and South Hampton University explained their research to the public.



It was a great opportunity to learn about biodiversity, engineering, biology, archaeology and of course physiology.

I am thankful to the people who helped me with my table. I find the experience rewarding as I got in contact with the people from Bournemouth explaining what inspiratory muscle training is how important is to practice physical exercise on a daily basis.



The Breathing Muscles

The lungs are passive extensible organs located within the thoracic cage, the movement of air through them is possible due to the respiratory muscles which drive environmental air in and out the airways.

Indeed, the breathing mechanism can be imagined of as a pump in which the contraction of muscles brings the expansion and compression of the thorax. Thus, changes in the volume of this cavity produce changes in the pressure within it, and as a consequence, this creates the gradient that moves air in and out the cavities. At rest the average adult takes 10 to 15 breaths per minutes, with a volume of about 0.5 litres, producing a minute ventilation of 7.5 l /min.

Essentially, all muscles that attach to the rib cage have the potential to generate a breathing action (figure 1), but we can easily divide these muscles as inspiratory muscles which expand the thoracic cavity causing inhalation and expiratory that compress the thoracic cavity causing exhalation (McConnell 2011).


Figure 1 – Respiratory Muscles from Respiratory Muscles Training theory and practice, McConnell 2013.


Inspiratory Muscles

Figure 2 – Deep Frontal Line from Anatomy Trains, Myers 2001.

The principal muscle of inspiration is the diaphragm, a domed sheet muscle that separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities. It attaches to the lower ribs and the lumbar vertebrae of the spine. When it contracts, the dome sheet moves downward into the abdominal cavity like a piston. This movement increases the volume of the thoracic cavity, creating a negative pressure. Its contraction also induces the lower ribs to move upward and forward, which also increases thoracic volume.

But the diaphragm is also part of the Deep Front Line (DFL) which starts from the underside of the foot, passing up behind the bones of the lower leg and behind the knee to the inside of the thigh. From here the major track passes in front of the hip joint, pelvis, and lumbar spine, while an alternate track passes up the back of the thigh to the pelvic floor and re-joins at the lumbar spine. From the psoas-diaphragm interface, the DFL continues up through the rib cage around and the thoracic viscera, ending on the underside of the viscerocranium (figure 2) (Myers 2001).
As stated by Myers, the DFL plays a significant role in the body’s support especially in lifting the inner arch, stabilising each segment of the legs, supporting the lumbar spine from the front, maintaining the chest while allowing the expansion and relaxation of breathing, balancing the neck and the head.

Other primary inspiratory muscles are the external intercostal muscles located in the area between adjacent ribs. Their contraction moves the ribs upward and outward (similar to the raising of a bucket handle) and also serves to stabilise the rib cage, to make it more rigid, as well as to help in small rotation of the trunk.

Finally, the scalene and sternocleidomastoid muscles are attached to the top of the sternum, to the upper two ribs, and clavicle, to the cervical vertebrae and mastoid process. When these muscles contract, they lift the top of the chest contributing to the inhalation.


Expiratory Muscles

The principal muscles of expiration are the rectus abdominis, the transversus abdominis and the internal and external oblique muscles. When these muscles contract, they pull the lower rib margins downward, and compress the abdominal compartment, raising its internal pressure.
But, is worth to mention that resting exhalation is a passive process brought about by the recoil of the lungs and rib cage at the end of inspiration. Thus these muscles only come into play as breathing muscles during exercise or in forced breathing manoeuvres (including coughing and vomiting).



  • Cover: Thorax and Abdomen of Leonardo da Vinci 1507
  • McConnell, A., 2011. Breathe strong, perform better.: Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, c2011.
  • Myers, T. W. L. M. T., 2001. Anatomy Trains: myofascial meridians for manual and movement therapists / Thomas W. Myers; forewords by Leon Chaitow, Deane Juha.



Festival of Learning – 2016

The Festival of Learning (FOL) is at its fifth year and runs from Saturday 8 to Wednesday 12 July, in Bournemouth and Poole. With over 140 events and activities, we will learn about health science, psychology, palaeontology, sport science, cybernetic, medicine and lots more!

I already helped last year (2016) in two activities:

  1. For the Research Staff Association – Making a difference through research, research with impact. For which I made a small presentation about my research, discussing methodology, outcomes and impact on future studies. It was a great opportunity, and I met other great researchers from BU.
  1. I helped in a drop-in activity about the importance of sport exercises for health and wellness in which Dr James Gavin, organised a battery of tests (i.e. time up and go, functional reach, five sit to stand). We met the community of Bournemouth, and it was great to see so many people get involved with excitement about research, thrilling to learn more about the importance of sport for their wellness.


Here a small video about the activities of 2016:



This year, I am going to participate in two events:

  1. On the 8th I will be in Talbot Campus explaining the latest research on falls prevention for the activity: A-mazing student research.
  1. On the 10th I will be at the Orthopedic Research Institute for the activity: Expert Talks, in which expert speakers invited by BU’s Orthopedic Research Institute will share insights on the latest development in orthopaedic patient care.

I also have personally worked on a third activity, which will take place at Poole Quay on the 9th, collaborating with Yolanda Barrado-Martin, Iram Bibi, Eduardo Carbonell on falls prevention:

Falls Prevention: How good is your balance – Balance is the body’s ability to stay upright and in control of movement. It is necessary for all daily activities, but over time, adults lose it. The interactive drop-in session will show the importance of falls prevention, testing your balance with simple and fun tests. Come and learn more about your balance and what you can do to avoid a fall.

I am sure this is going to be an exciting experience, and I hope to see you there, for more information, please contact Bournemouth University directly.