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The effects of body position and incremental exercise on cardiovascular function

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Assignment Title: The effects of body position and incremental exercise on cardiovascular function. Introduction: It is through the cardiovascular system that a number of actions take place, like the transport of O2 and nutrients to tissues, and removal of waste and the regulation of temperature takes place. (Powers & Howley, 2001) People everyday are virtually in some form or another taking part in physical activity. Unknowingly to them this physical activity involves responses from the cardiovascular system to the actual physical activity. Responses that occur could be short-lived and slight, and can include a rise in heart rate (HR) whilst getting up from a chair and walking from one room to another. On the other hand, responses could be more specific, if a person took part in a marathon you could see a rise in blood flow directed to the active skeletal muscles (Foss & Keteyian, 1998). During exercise, factors like cardiac output, HR, diastolic and systolic blood pressure are all directly related to the intensity of the given activity performed and should be looked at. When looking at the heart and its myocardium (i.e. the cardiac muscle tissue which contracts to eject blood from the heart chambers.) performance (which is initiated by the sinoatrial SA node) we must look at stroke volume and HR. Cardiac output (Q) is the product of the HR and the stroke volume (SV) which is the amount of blood pumped by the ventricles in a single heartbeat. ...read more.


After taking these measurements the subject was required to wear a HR monitor (polar beat). A sphygmomanometer was then attached to the subjects arm. The subject was informed of the procedures that she was going to have her HR and BP recorded in three different body positions (i.e. sitting, standing, and lying), for recording BP please see lab manual page 25. The first stage would see the subject sit quietly for 3 minutes, the second stage required lying quietly for 3 minutes and the third stage required the subject to stand quietly for three minutes. The measurements of both the HR and BP were recorded in the final fifteen seconds of each stage. The results taken were recorded in a table provided and the mean arterial pressure (MAP) was calculated using the formula mentioned earlier. Practical Session 2: In the second practical session the subject, subject (b), was a healthy male aged 20, whose weight was 77.5kg, and height was 178cm. The subject was asked to do a two minute warm up at 50 watts on the cycle ergomometer (Monark) prior to the testing. After the warm up, the subject had to wear a HR monitor and a sphygmomanometer. For the test, the subject was required to for the first stage exercise for 4 minutes at 50 watts, the second stage exercise for 4 minutes at 100 watts and in the third stage exercise for 4 minutes at 150 watts. ...read more.


during incremental exercise increases gradually from 106 at 50 W, to 136 at 100 W and to 163 at 150 W. This increase in HR is caused by the active skeletal muscles demanding more oxygen, in turn seeing an increase in HR as to provide oxygenated blood to the muscles. During incremental exercise there is a rapid rise in SBP, this is illustrated in fig. 3 with an increase from 120 (mmHg) at 50 watts to 125 (mmHg) at 100 watts and finally with 140 (mmHg) at 150 watts. DBP however slightly decreases to 44 (mmHg) at 150 watts due to a decrease in peripheral resistance, that develops because of the vasodilatation of arterioles supplying blood to the active skeletal muscles. (Foss & Keteyian, 1998). Further issues can be examined regarding differences in heart rate between sex, (i.e. males and females). This can be seen in fig. 4, which provides data during incremental exercise in a females, subject (c), HR, compared to that of a males, subject (b), HR. In conclusion this experiment which was conducted in two practicals and provided data about the cardiovascular function and how it is affected by various factors, i.e. increases in HR due to an alteration in certain body positions and differences of the SBP and DBP due to the effects of incremental exercise has on the cardiovascular function and also how the cardiovascular system adapts to these changes whether it be body position or exercise intensity. ...read more.

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