Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, and Exercise


The adaptability of the heart can be observed during exercise, when the metabolic activity of skeletal muscles increases. The cardiovascular system, consisting of the heart and blood vessels, responds to exercise with an increase in heart rate and strength of contraction with each beat, resulting in a higher cardiac output (cardiac output = quantity of blood pumped through the heart per unit of time) and blood pressure. Positive pressure is created by forceful contraction of the left ventricle of the heart, measured as systole. It is maintained during relaxation of the ventricle by closure of the aortic valve and recoil of arteries, measured as diastole.

Mean arterial pressure (MAP) is a useful measure of the adequacy of tissue perfusion, and is not a simple average of systolic and diastolic blood pressures. This is because diastole continues for twice as long as systole. MAP can be reasonably approximated using the equation:

\frac{{(systole + 2(diastole))}}  {3}{\text{  =  }}MAP


In this experiment, you will

  • Obtain graphic representation of heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Determine the effect of exercise on heart rate, and systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressures.
  • Use blood pressure readings and pulse to infer changes in cardiac output and peripheral vascular resistance with exercise.
  • Correlate the fitness level of individuals with amount of daily exercise.

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 »

Human Physiology with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Warming Function of Nasal Passageways
2Effect of Vascularity on Skin Temperature Recovery
3Heart Rate as a Vital Sign
4Heart Rate and Exercise
5Heart Rate Response to Baroreceptor Feedback
6Effect of Coughing on Heart Rate
7Blood Pressure as a Vital Sign
8Blood Pressure and Exercise
9Diurnal Blood Pressure Variation
10Heart Rate and Blood Pressure as Vital Signs
11Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, and Exercise
12Analyzing the Heart with EKG
13Introduction to EMG
14ANeuromuscular Reflexes (with Accelerometer)
14BNeuromuscular Reflexes (without Accelerometer)
15Muscle Function Analysis
16Grip Strength Comparison
17Grip Strength and Muscle Fatigue
18EMG and Muscle Fatigue
19Lung Volumes and Capacities
20Respiratory Response to Physiologic Challenges
21Analysis of Lung Function
22Oxygen and Aerobic Metabolism
23Oxygen Extraction by the Lungs
24Effect of "Dead Space" on Oxygen Exchange

Experiment 11 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.

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