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Investigation into the Effect on Pulse Rate & Breathing Rate During

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Investigation into the Effect on Pulse Rate & Breathing Rate During Exercise By Hollie Scorer I am going to conduct an experiment on two fellow students. My first subject is Saleh he is a 30 year old male of ectomorphic body frame he is a habitual smoker and does not take regular exercise. My second subject is Laurence he is 19 year old male of ectomorphic body frame and does not smoke, by stark contrast he also takes regular exercise. In this experiment I will be conducting an investigation into the effects of exercise on pulse and breathing rate. Because Saleh is 11 years older than Laurence, smokes and takes no regular exercise I hypothesise that Laurence will have a significantly lower pulse rate and breathing rate when resting, during exercise and the recovery period. As Saleh is a habitual smoker he will have high levels of carbon monoxide present in his body which will reduce the amount of oxygen absorbed into the blood from the lungs. Carbon monoxide in the blood also reduces the amount of oxygen that is released from the blood into the muscles, inhibiting endurance during exercise. According to a study by the "non smoking campaign" Australia, while exercise training can increase maximal oxygen uptake by up to 20%, smoking can reduce this effect by up to 10%. Additionally VO2 max decreases with age and with the absence of regular physical exercise, impairing endurance and performance during exercise. Both Saleh and Laurence took part in two minutes of cycling on an exercise bike, their pulse rate, blood pressure and breathing rate was recorded in the 2 minute period of exercise and 60 seconds of the resting period. ...read more.


The heart does not need to beat as fast as lungs are getting enough oxygen in. As the heart rate increases, O2 is pumped faster around the body. When breathing rate increases more O2 will be taken in. In the 30 second period, the heart is told by the nervous system to beat faster followed by the lungs. If enough O2 reaches the muscles the pulse rate will slow down. Another factor is that pulse rate cannot keep increasing for ever, at a certain point the pulse rate will stabilise. There are two receptor areas in the brain located in the medulla oblongata and pons, the cardiac centre adjusts force and the rate of heart contractions and the respiratory centre that controls rate and depth of breathing. Both respond to CO2 levels in the blood the receptors are linked to the nervous system. Changes in levels of carbon dioxide concentrations in the blood stimulate the brain. Most carbon dioxide is transported in plasma as the bicarbonate ion. A smaller amount, between 20 and 30 percent of the transported CO2 is carried inside the red blood cells as NaHCO3 bound to hemoglobin. Before carbon dioxide can diffuse out of the blood into the alveoli, it must first be released from its bicarbontoate ion form. Carbonic acid is monitored by respiratory centre in the brain. Bicarbonate ions must enter the red blood cells where they combine with hydrogen ions (H+) to form carbonic acid (H2CO3). Carbonic acid quickly splits to form water and carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide then diffuses from the blood and enters the alveoli. ...read more.


VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen in millilitres, one can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight. Those who are fit like Laurence have higher VO2 max values and can exercise more intensely than those who are not as well conditioned like Saleh who lives a fairly sedentary lifestyle. From Saleh and Laurence's breathing and pulse rate results and my research my conclusion is that Laurence's body is clearly better able to cope with physical exercise than Saleh's. From my interpretation of the graphs and research Saleh is very unfit, this is primarily due to Saleh being a habitual smoker, additional factors include the 11 year age difference and Saleh living a sedentary lifestyle in comparison to Laurence partaking in regular exercise. Although these results agree with my hypothesis, I do not consider this was an accurate test as there was no measurement of speed or distance that either Saleh or Laurence covered on the exercise bikes. It was impossible to measure what pace they both peddled at and whether or not the pace was at a constant speed or varied throughout the two minute period. What if Saleh covered twice the distance of Laurence, what influence would that have on the readings we measured? What if Laurence had peddled at a slower pace than Saleh, would this have increased the difference from our two studies. It could be that that Laurence peddled at twice the speed of Saleh and that Laurence is even less fit than we have estimated. The results are therefore unsafe and to get a true and accurate result we would need to conduct the exercise again, I would pre determine a distance and speed for both subjects to exercise. This would give data that was equally comparable. ...read more.

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