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Biological Responses to Stress Laboratory Exercise

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Biological Responses to Stress Laboratory Exercise
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Jenine Hajjar BI 102 Honors General Biology April 18, 2008 Abstract The purpose of this experiment was to attempt to quantify the relationship between the amount and/or rate of work performed and heart rate in order to have a better understanding of the different variables which are used as an index of human response to exercise. The first exercise of the lab was performed using a short bench. The subject had to step on and off this bench at a rate of 15 steps per minute for three minutes. The subject’s resting pulse was taken before the activity and the subject’s “recovery” was observed for six minutes post-exercise. The same procedure was used in exercise 2 except a higher bench was used to step on. In the final exercise, the subject was required to use the higher bench to step at a rate double to first two exercises, 30 steps per minute, however the time was only one and half minutes. The calculated amount of work for exercise 2 and 3 were equivalent at 828.495 kilogram meters because time does not play into account for amount of work. Exercise 1 required the least amount of work at 320.625 kilogram meters. The rates of work for the three exercises all varied from one another. The rates of work performed for exercises 1, 2, and 3, were 106.825 kilogram meters per minute (kgm/min), 276.165 kgm/min, and 552.330 kgm/min respectively.
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After doing research and reviewing various experiments, I have surmised that it is very important to consider factors other than physical activity in regards to heart rate. There are too many factors that can play a role in this rate to be able to discredit any or all of them. The most significant factor other than physical activity is stress, and since society is highly based around stress, it is fair to say that this could affect any experiment studied. Introduction “Heart rate is a simple and readily available index of cardiac stress” (Borst 2008). When an organism undergoes activity, there is a proportional increase in its heart rate. Although activity is a strong generator of an increased heart rate, other factors such as age, amount of sleep, physical fitness, sex, body weight, emotional influences, drugs and smoking. Because of all these influential factors, heart rate is rarely used as a single indicator of physiological response to physical exertion (Borst 2008). Stress in particular has a significant impact on heart rate so it is important to take this into account, along with many other factors, when considering the body’s physiological response to exercise (Hamer 2005). Other than by taking a pulse, heart rate can be determined by determining the diastolic pressure in relation to the systolic pressure of the heart. This is measured in millimeters of a mercury column in a sphygmomanometer. The lowest pressure in the aorta, which occurs just before the ventricle ejects blood into the aorta, is called the diastolic pressure. The maximal
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aortic pressure following the ejection of blood is called the systolic pressure (Klabunde 2007).
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