Sangeetha Pulapaka


  I hope you know what the term 'buoyancy' means. It is the ability of something to float on water. With very few exceptions, everyone floats. How easy it is to float, is influenced by your body's make-up. People usually float in varying degrees and varying ways.

    The degree of buoyancy is dependant on several factors in humans. The main factors are bone, muscle fat, air in the lungs. These determine the ability to float. Generally speaking, the elderly, women and those who are not physically fit tend to float better. This is because they have a higher fat to muscle tissue ratio, even if they are very slim.Also, fully inflated lungs, will enhance buoyancy tremendously.  Fat has a specific gravity of less than 1.0 (which is the density of water), and so floats in water, while both bone and muscle have a specific gravity of more that 1.0.

   Thus people with a high proportion of fat, will float better and some people with low fat levels, heavy bones and high muscle mass will tend to float less. Also, people float better in salt water than in the swimming pool! The reason is because sea water is denser than fresh water/water in the swimming pool. Have you heard of 'Dead Sea'? The water is so dense there, because of the high salt content in it, that it is impossible to sink in the Dead Sea. Did you also ever wonder, why it is that you can lift a heavy object with ease in a swimming pool? I can tell you more about this if you want. All you have to do is ask!

I hope this answers your question! Bye!