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How Much Does Smoking Affect The Fitness Of A 16 Year Old?

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HOW MUCH DOES SMOKING AFFECT THE FITNESS OF A 16 YEAR OLD? To see how much smoking affects the fitness of 16 year olds we decided to test four people (two being smokers; two not) on their fitness by testing their heart rate after a given period of time of vigorous exercise. The exercise we chose for the 'guinea-pigs' was skipping. We were to test their heart rate as a control (before exercise) then they were to skip for two minutes, we test their heart rate again, then they skipped for another minute. Finally, we tested their heart rate after this skip, and also after a rest of five minutes. Then we re-tested their fitness with a repeat of the first test. We had to be careful that the experiment would not be too strenuous for anyone, we didn't want to cause pain or death to somebody whilst we were testing them. We chose our 'guinea-pigs' carefully, as they had to have smoked roughly the same amount of tobacco and at roughly the same rate to make the test fair. ...read more.


We also found out that in order to acquire energy an athlete must convert glucose and oxygen into carbon dioxide, water, and energy. The chemical equation for this is: C6H12O6 + 6O2 6CO2 + 6H2O + ENERGY Energy is used for building up larger molecules (e.g. proteins), contracting muscles, and maintaining a steady body temperature. The above information came from the textbooks 'Chemistry Matters', 'World of Science', and the biology 'CGP Revision Book'. The following results are for the non-smokers: Before exercise After two minutes' skipping After an additional minute's skip After five minutes' rest Tester W First test 104 156 156 120 Second test 84 180 188 132 Tester X First |test 88 100 116 112 Second test 88 192 188 128 These are for the two smokers: Before exercise After two minutes' skipping After an additional minute's skip After five minutes' rest Tester Y First test 80 156 160 100 Second test 80 192 188 100 Tester Z First test 88 240 164 96 Second test 84 172 188 112 The best way to get a good awareness of what these results represent is in graph form. ...read more.


Tester Z's anomaly of 240bpm is enormously high, and we can never be sure whether it is true or if is a result of human error (a heartbeat at four times a second may be too high for anyone to count accurately). A better way of counting the heart rate is with a monitor; if I were to do the experiment again I would make sure I use one. Also, using just one person to represent each section of society (one male non-smoker; one female non-smoker; one male smoker; one female smoker) is not really enough, in most surveys (for health magazines etc.) hundreds or even thousands of people are used. A different type of exercise instead of the skipping, or even as well as it, would have given more accurate results, originally we had planned to test their sprinting abilities also, but this idea had to be scrubbed out from our plan due to time constraints. More variation of smokers would have been beneficial too, for example some people who had smoked for many years, possibly even people of a different age group. Obviously, though, this would represent an altogether different experiment. ...read more.

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