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Biology Data Analysis-Does heart rate effect reaction time?

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I plan to do an experiment to try and to discover if there is any link or correlation between heart rate and reaction time. Reaction time is the ability to respond quickly to a stimulus. It important in many sports and day to day activities, though it is not often measured. Simple reaction time is the time taken between a stimulus and movement e.g., sprint start. (http://www.topendsports.com/testing/reactime.htm) Heart rate is basically how many times our heart beats in a minute. There are two main measurements of heart rate; resting and active. Resting heart rate is measured when a person is at rest and no physical activity has been undertaken. Active is the opposite. When our hearts contracts, it pumps blood around the body. The faster the heart rate, usually the faster we are breathing meaning that there will be more oxygen and less carbon dioxide in the blood due to the faster gas exchange in the capillaries. The harder the work, the higher our heart beat is due to our muscles needing more oxygen. Pulse is another way for heart rate and is measured in BPM (Beats per Minute). Age Normal heart rate (beats per minute)[1] Newborn 130 Older Child 90-110 Adult 60-80 Athletes need good reaction times to gain a faster start in their races. ...read more.


Differences in heart rate Increased heart rate 64 43 80 84 22 40 88 70 52 68 40 80 The average resting heart rate is 60-80 BPM; the data that I've collected match this figure. Heart rate is effected dependant on various different factors including age, weight and fitness. From my data, there are two large outliers; number 9 and number 12. Trends Looking at my data, most of the reaction times decreased as heart rate increased. As explained before, I think this is due to the fact that there is more blood being pumped around the body making you more aware, and also more adrenaline. Maximum heart rate for those who took part in the experiment would be, 205-206 (220-age, which is 14 or 15). Our target heart rate is 60-80% of our maximum, which would be from 113bpm-163bpm (205*.6 or .8). All trials other than number 7 and number 9 are working between their target heart rates. Number 7 and 9 are working at over 80%. Evaluation. Safety When carrying out our experiment, there weren't many safety aspects to consider. However, we asked out test buddies to carry out the star jumps in a corner away from others in the class. ...read more.


The same metal 30cm ruler was dropped. The time between when the exercise was done, heart rate measured and ruler dropped may not have been the same. Also to make it extremely fair, we should have aimed to get everyone's heart rate to the same percentage of their resting. Some people may have been exercising and may not been at their actual resting heart rate. Also, the heart rates should have been to the same or similar percentage of their maximum potential. Reliability I think that my experiment was reliable because, I was the one who was running the experiment. The data may not be accurate or true; however if I repeated this experiment, I would expect to find similar results. Can I rely on my data to back my conclusion? I don't think that my data could be use to prove anything major. We couldn't actually measure the reaction times. The data I have collected doesn't show anything scientific, for example, the reaction times collected are just were just the measurement on the ruler (in cm). Also I don't think that there were enough trials or enough test buddies either. Also, with only 3 trials to get an average reaction time won't really prove anything. On normal online reaction tests, there normally are about 5 trials. However, I can say that there is some kind of correlation between the two. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This is an average write up, the background information is good but more attention is needed in the analysis of the data and improvements that should be made. 3 stars.

Marked by teacher Louise Star 08/01/2013

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