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    Physiological Measurements Required

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    Monitoring physiological changes in the body can be used to assess and measure healthy performance as well as to evaluate reduced performance due to ageing or poor health.
    It is relatively easy to measure characteristics of the cardio-respiratory system such as
    • Pulse rate
    • Blood pressure
    • Breathing rate

    During this investigation we will monitor changes in the cardio-respiratory system before and after exercise


    For this practical you should work in groups of three or four

    1 Taking your resting pulse rate

    All members of the group should take & record their resting pulse rate. Take your pulse for 30 seconds and then calculate pulse rate for a minute.
    Resting pulse rate=

    2 The Harvard step test

    One member of the group should volunteer to be the subject for this test.
    During this test the other members of the group will be responsible for taking
    The subject's
    • Pulse rate by counting the radial pulse
    • Breathing rate by counting breaths
    • Blood pressure by using the semi-automatic sphygmomanometer

    2.1 The subject should be seated. The subject's resting pulse rate, Breathing rate
    and Blood pressure should be measured & results recorded.

    2.2 The subject should then do step-ups at the rate of 30 per minute for every 5
    minutes. On member of this team should note exactly how long the exercise
    took place.

    2.3 The subject then sits

    Pulse and breathing
    One minute after the exercise stops the pulse and breathing should be counted for 30 seconds and the result noted.

    This should be repeated at 2 minutes, 3 minutes. 4 minutes and so on until the pulse has returned to the resting rate.

    Blood pressure
    Blood pressure should be taken at regular timed intervals and both systolic and diastolic Blood pressure noted along with the exact time of the systolic reading.

    2.4 Aerobic efficiency and fitness can be estimated using the following formula

    Index = (Duration of exercise in seconds) x100 =
    2(Sum of first three pulse counts in recovery)
    below 55 = poor
    55-64 = low average
    65-79 = average
    80-89= good
    90+= excellent

    Record and plot graph of your results. Comment on your subject's aerobic efficiency and fitness

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    Solution Preview

    First, some general comments on your subject's fitness: their resting blood pressure, 122/71, is pretty much ideal. They appear to be in good cardiovascular health, although their resting pulse rate is a little higher than normal (88). 22 breaths/minute is also normal.

    Now, when someone excercises their muscles will use up more oxygen. To provide the extra oxygen the heart will beat faster. The more efficiently their muscles use oxygen (the more fit they are), the less additional oxygen they will need for the excercise. Also, the more fit they are the faster they will recover from excercise, and this ...

    Solution Summary

    The physiological measurements required are examined. The sum of the first three pulse counts in recovery are given.