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For it's size the heart has the huge capacity of pumping large amounts
of blood, in the average adult's heart beats 60 to 100 times a minute,
pumps between 70ml and 100ml of blood with each beat, circulates 5 to
6 litres of blood around the body per minute and about 13 litres of
blood per minute during vigorous exercise. The heart will beat more
then 2.5 billion times during an average lifetime. This investigation
will be looking at the effect of exercise on the heart rate.
The aim of this investigation is to find out how exercise affects the
heart rate, using research & experimenting on changes and increases in
the heart rate using exercise.
â— The heart
The normal heart is a strong, hardworking pump made of muscle tissue.
It is about the size of a person's fist.
The heart has four chambers. The upper two chambers are the right
artium and left atrium, and the lower two are the right ventricle and
left ventricle. Blood is pumped through the chambers, aided by four
heart valves. The valves open and close to let the blood flow in only
The four heart valves are:
1. the tricuspid valve, located between the right atrium and the
2. the pulmonary (pulmonic) valve, between the right ventricle and
the pulmonary artery
3. the mitral valve, between the left atrium and left ventricle
4. the aortic valve, between the left ventricle and the aorta.
Each valve has a set of "flaps" (also called leaflets or cusps). The
mitral valve normally has two flaps; the others have three flaps.
Dark bluish blood, low in oxygen, flows back to the heart after
circulating through the body. It returns to the heart through veins
and enters the right atrium.
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tricuspid valve into the right ventricle.
The right ventricle pumps the blood under low pressure through the
pulmonary valve into the pulmonary artery. From there the blood goes
to the lungs where it gets fresh oxygen. After the blood is refreshed
with oxygen, it's bright red. Then it returns by the pulmonary veins
to the left atrium. From there it passes through the mitral valve and
enters the left ventricle.
The left ventricle pumps the red oxygen-rich blood out through the
aortic valve into the aorta. The aorta takes blood to the body's
general circulation. The blood pressure in the left ventricle is the
same as the pressure measured in the arm.
To monitor the heart, scientists can use x-ray or scanning technology
to get a picture. To really explore the heart, scientists have to
perform surgery. Heart surgery is very risky because the heart's
pumping action is so critical for survival. If the heart stops
pumping, the body cannot survive. Before beginning heart surgery,
doctors connect the patient to a machine that pumps the blood for the
heart. Only then is it safe for the doctor to stop the heart in order
Lack of exercise increases the risk of heart disease. Lack of exercise
is also related to other diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and high
blood pressure. Even limited amounts of physical activity can be good
for your heart if done regularly and over the long term.
Exercise helps your heart by:
* strengthening the heart muscle
* making the heart more efficient
* improving the flow of blood to the heart muscle and
* improving the heart's ability to handle stress
When we exercise our heart rate increases. This is because our muscles
are working harder and need more energy. Our heart rate increases to
supply more oxygen, carried in the blood, to these muscles. The oxygen
is needed in the muscles for aerobic respiration, that is to break
down glucose, which we get from food, into glycogen which is the main
type of energy we use when we exercise.
The experiment will be carried out by measuring the heart rate before
and after exercise on a number of people.
The experiment procedure will go as follows:
â— I will measure the resting rate of the group before any physical
exercise & record the results.
â— I will then begin the group exercising, the exercise will last for
five minutes with 30 second breaks every 1 minute, this is so I can
measure the heart rates of the group every 30 seconds and record it.
â— When the exercise if completed I will measure the heart rate levels
of the group once every minute until it returns to its original heart
The group will consist of 3 people, these people will all start their
exercise at different times so it is possible to measure the heart
rates properly and sufficiently.
The group will all be doing the same exercise to make the test results
as fair as possible, the exercise will be carried out as step ups,
using 3 level steps.
I aim to make this experiment as fair as possible by timing the
experiment as properly & accurately as possible, to do this I will be
using a stopwatch.
I will record my results in a table & then continue to graph them when
the experiment is over.
I predict that the whole groups heart rate's will increase during
exercise, although I do not believe that all three group members rates
will be the same. I believe this because the fitness levels in each
group member varies.
I believe that the heart rate's will increase because during exercise
it is clear that the muscles being used will need more oxygen, this is
because of the aerobic respiration taking place in the muscles. All
muscles being used will need more oxygen, including lungs.
I have learnt this from my research and believe my predictions will be
BPM = Beats per minute
- During exercise
Resting rate (BPM)
BPM after 1min
BPM after 2min
BPM after 3min
BPM after 4min
BPM after 5min
- After exercise
Resting rate (BPM)
BPM after exercise
BPM 2min after
BPM 3min after
BPM 4min after
BPM 5min after
BMP 1min into excse
BMP 2min into excse
BMP 3min into excse
BMP 4min into excse
BMP 5min into excse
BMP 1min after excse
BMP 2min after excse
BMP 3min after excse
BMP 4min after excse
- Result graph
As I predicted the heart rates increased and were at their highest
after 5 minutes of exercise, this is because of aerobic respiration,
the group members muscles were working harder and therefore needed
more oxygen when exercising.
The lowest BPM were at the resting stage in the beginning and the
resting stage at the end of the experiment. The highest number of BPM
was at the 5 minute mark into the exercise and the lowest number of
BPM was at the 5 minute mark after finishing exercising.
Persons 1 and 2's hearts seemed to be nearly on par whereas person 3
seemed to have a higher heart rate then the first two, maybe this is
because the 3rd person smokes and is slightly more overweight then the
I believe re-doing the experiment a number of times would enhance the
ultimate accuracy of this investigation but I believe the results seem
to be accurate enough and correct as well as supporting my
I believe my experiment went well, I listed the results accurately,
timed the experiment accurately and made sure the group all exercised
for the accurate amount of times and a similar pace.
The ways in which I could of improved my investigation was perhaps,
using a larger group, doing the experiment more then twice to make
sure my results are as accurate as I can possibly get them and to use
people of the same fitness, height, weight & people that do not smoke.