Maximum Phonation Time Relation to BMI

Welcome to Voice Science Abridged! We will periodically be looking at recent papers and research in voice science and singing pedagogy and presenting an abridged version of the research. To start off we are looking at Maximum Phonation Time Normative Values Among Malaysians and Its Relation to Body Mass Index. This study was written by Al-Yahya, Akram, Kumar, Amin, Malik, Zawawi, Mahmoud, Mustafa, Azman, and Baki. It was published in the July 2022 edition of the Journal of Voice.

The team was attempting to establish normative values for Maximum Phonation Time (MPT) for a South East Asia population and to investigate its relation to Body Mass Index (BMI). They had 300 volunteers, 150 male and 150 female, all of the participants were healthy with non singers. Participants were weighed and divided into Non-Obese, Obese, and Morbidly Obese Categories based on BMI. They were asked to perform a deep inhalation and sustain the vowels /a/, /i/, and /u/. They repeated each vowel three times with 15 seconds between each attempt and results were averaged.

The study found that the normative value for MPT for non obese males was 21.41 ± 6.85 and 18.05 ± 5.06 for females while singing /a/. This decreased to 18.01 ± 5.47 and 14.53 ± 4.54 for male and female participants in the obese category respectively. Further reducing to 15.34 ± 4.87 and 13.07 ± 4.38 for morbidly obese. This study set the normative value of MPT for Malaysian males and females in all three BMI categories. And concluded that an increased BMI results in a reduced MPT for both males and females.


Al-Yahya, S.N., Akram, M.H.H.M., Kumar, K.V., Amin, S.N.A.M., Malik, N.A.A., Zawawi, N.A.M., Mahmood, N.R.K.N., Mustafa, N., Azman, M., Baki, M.M., 2022. Maximum Phonation Time Normative Values Among Malaysians and Its Relation to Body Mass Index. Journal of Voice 36, 457–463. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2020.07.015

Josh Manuel

Josh Manuel, a voice instructor and founder of VoiceScience, is dedicated to empowering singers by providing evidence-based techniques and knowledge for enhanced performance and vocal health. His expertise and passion in the field of vocal science have made him a trusted resource for singers seeking to improve their skills and achieve their full potential.

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