Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Heart Rate and Blood Pressure as Vital Signs

Figure from experiment 10 from Human Physiology with Vernier


Since the earliest days of medicine heart rate has been recognized as a vital sign—an indicator of health, disease, excitement, and stress. Medical personnel use the heart rate to provide clues as to the presence of many medical conditions. Reflex changes in heart rate are one of the body’s most basic mechanisms for maintaining proper perfusion to the brain and other tissues. Low blood volume caused by bleeding or dehydration results in the heart beating faster as it attempts to maintain adequate blood pressure. Excitement, stress, and anxiety activate the nervous system, which may also speed the heart rate and raise blood pressure.


In this experiment, you will

  • Obtain graphical representation of heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Compare heart rate and blood pressure before and after exposure to cold stimulus.
  • Observe an example of sympathetic nervous system activation ("fight or flight response").

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Human Physiology with Vernier »

Experiment 10 from Human Physiology with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Human Physiology with Vernier</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

Buy the Book

Go to top