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What is the Change in Blood Pressure Due to Exercise for Two Age Groups?

Researched by Whitney C.
2001-02



PURPOSE

The purpose of this experiment was to compare the effect of exercise vs. rest on the blood pressure of different age groups.

I became interested in this idea when I wondered if exercising would raise or lower blood pressure. Also, when I wondered if the age of a person was a factor in the change of blood pressure.

The information gained from this experiment would be useful to society because that way people would have a better understanding of how age/exercise affects blood pressure. Since blood pressure is a common indicator of cardiovascular health, then by conducting this experiment, I will be able to tell if exercising generally brings blood pressure to a harmful reading. If so, then exercising could possibly be hazardous to one's health.



HYPOTHESES

My first hypothesis is that exercise will raise blood pressure for both age groups.

My second hypothesis is that adults will have a higher resting blood pressure reading than the children.

I base my first hypothesis on the fact that exercising raises heart rate and heart rate raises blood pressure.

I base my second hypothesis on the knowledge that an adult's heart beats fewer times in a day than a child of around 13 or so. Because the heart of an average adult beats fewer times than a child of about 13, this allows for a higher resting blood pressure reading.



EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN

The constants in this study were:

  • The number of different age groups that I tested
  • The amount of exercise (Two minutes)
  • The type of exercise (Stepping)
  • The blood pressure machine
  • The person who took and recorded the blood pressure readings
The manipulated variable was the exercise that the subjects did.

The responding variable was the change in blood pressure between the two different age groups after exercise. 

To measure the responding variable, I used a home blood pressure machine.




MATERIALS
 
Quantity Item Description
5 Girls ages 12-13
5 Boys ages 12-13
5 Women ages 29-35
5 Men ages 29-35
5 Women ages 49-55
5 Men ages 49-55
1 Chart to hold and collect data in
Pencil or pen
1 Blood Pressure Monitor
Desk
1 Chair

 



PROCEDURES
  1. Get 12 people age 12-14 and organize them into one group
  2. Get 12 other people in between the ages 45-55 and organize them into another group
  3. Check the blood pressure of each individual in the 12-14 year old group
  4. Record that data onto chart for 12-14 year olds
  5. Check the blood pressure of each individual in the 45-55 year old group
  6. Record the data onto chart for 45-55 year olds
  7. Have each person in the 12-14 year old group take turns doing some stepping up and down on a stepper for two minutes
  8. Recheck the blood pressure for each individual immediately after they complete the exercise
  9. Record new data onto chart for 12-14 year olds
  10. Have the subjects in the 45-55 year old group do the same thing as the 13 year olds did as stated in step 7 
  11. Repeat step 8 for the 45-55 year olds
  12. Record new data onto chart for 45-55 year olds


RESULTS

The original purpose of this experiment was to determine and compare the change in blood pressure after exercise of two different age groups.

The results of this experiment were that the adults had a higher resting blood pressure reading than the children and both age groups blood pressure had raised after exercise.

View My Data Graphs

 



CONCLUSION

My first hypothesis was that exercise would raise blood pressure for both age groups. My second hypothesis was that the adults would have a higher resting blood pressure reading than the children of about 13 or so.

The results of this experiment indicate that both of my hypotheses should be accepted.

Because of the results of this experiment, I wonder how stable the blood pressure readings would be for each individual person if I were to increase the number of trials.

If I were to conduct this project again, I would gather more adults and try to get an equal number of people in each group. I would gather three or four groups instead of just two. Also, I would conduct more than one trial, just to see how the results would differ.

 


RESEARCH REPORT
 

INTRODUCTION

In order for this science project to be conducted, many areas relating to blood pressure and exercise had to be researched. Some of these areas are defining blood pressure, hypertension, the human heart, and physical fitness. Also, in order to conduct the research, certain tools were needed such as the blood pressure machine and the stair stepper.

WHAT BLOOD PRESSURE IS

Blood pressure is the pressure that blood exerts up against the walls of the arteries. It (blood pressure) is a common indicator of cardiovascular health. In fact, a blood pressure reading is ALMOST a requirement in every physical examination. The things that control blood pressure are the nervous system and hormones. 

WHAT BLOOD PRESSURE IS MEASURED WITH

Blood pressure is measured using a device called the Sphygmomanometer. The Sphygmomanometer consists of the following items:

One cuff or band that is able to be filled with air A rubber bulb that is hollow; it is used to pump air into the cuff A gauge (a glass tube which contains a column of mercury)

HOW BLOOD PRESSURE IS TAKEN

In order to get a blood pressure reading, wrap the inflatable cuff around your arm, so that it fits snuggly. Then, place a stethoscope over the arteries of your arm, slightly below the cuff. After doing this, pump air into the cuff using the bulb. By doing this, it causes the cuff to become tight and press down on the arteries. Listen to the blood spurt against the walls of the arteries. Then, air is slowly let out of the cuff.

HOW BLOOD PRESSURE IS CLASSIFIED

There are two main ways that blood pressure is classified, a systolic reading and a diastolic reading. A systolic reading is where the heart muscles contract. A diastolic reading is where the muscles of the heart relax. A blood pressure reading is given as a fraction. The systolic reading is on the top and the diastolic reading is on the bottom.

HYPERTENSION

Hypertension is abnormally high blood pressure. It is a common disease among African American people. High blood pressure afflicts 50,000,000 Americans. Approximately 35,000,000 people have hypertension and 25,000,000 people have blood pressure that is border line to being high. Hypertension is commonly known as the "silent killer", because there normally are no early signs of it.

FACTORS OF BLOOD PRESSURE

Blood pressure is influenced by many factors. Exercise is one of the main factors of blood pressure. Stress is also a main factor of it. Smoking as well as excitement and times of exertion are major factors of blood pressure. Age is another really big factor in blood pressure. All of these conditions cause blood pressure either to rise or fall in the reading.

THE HUMAN HEART

The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. It is a muscle that is just slightly larger than a fist. The heart contracts and expands. When the heart contracts it does so with all its force. The hearts walls are made up of three different layers. The cavity of the human heart is divided up into four parts. It has two upper chambers and two lower chambers. The upper chambers are called the left and right atria. The lower chambers are called the left and right ventricles. The job of the right atria is to get blood through the superior vena cava.

THE FUNCTIONS OF THE HEART

The main function that the heart carries out is that it pumps blood throughout the body. Because of the heart, all the parts of the body are able to receive blood. Another function of the heart is that it provides a heartbeat or heart rate. Heart rate helps measure a lot of things related to the human body. For instance, it helps determine/change a blood pressure reading.

THE HUMAN HEART AND ITS REALATIONSHIP TO BLOOD PRESSURE

The human heart is a very important organ when dealing with blood pressure. The human heart pumps blood to all parts of the body. You need a heart for blood to travel throughout the body. A blood pressure reading is the amount of force that the blood exerts back upon the arteries. The way blood exerts a force on the arteries is by spurting the blood up against the artery walls. So, the key thing in blood pressure is blood, and without a heart, you wouldn't have blood flowing through the body.

PHYSICAL FITNESS

Physical activity causes various changes in blood pressure. Different peoples blood pressures are changed in different ways. Some people have a systolic rise and some people have a systolic fall. Some have a diastolic rise and some have a diastolic fall. Depending upon people's metabolism, the rise and fall in the readings may vary.

CONCLUSION

The result of this research concludes that exercise has an effect on blood pressure. Also that hypertension is a cardiovascular disease, which can be greatly affected by physical activity. Not only blood pressure, but also the heart is affected by physical exertion as well. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

"Blood Pressure" November 8, 2001 
http://www.mamashealth.com/Bloodpressure.asp

"Blood Pressure" November 8, 2001
http://encarta.msn.com/find/concise.asp?z=1&pg=z&ti=7615724667

"Blood Pressure" November 8, 2001
http://content.health.msn.com/find/content/asset/

"Exercise" November 8, 2001
http://dictionary.msn.com/find/entry.asp?refid=1861609726

Garell, C. Dale, M.D., The Healthy Body: The Circulatory System, New York and Philadelphia, Chelsea House Publishers, pages 23, 73, 87, 88, 89, 90, 94, 95, and 96

Lamb, R. David, "Physical Fitness", The World Book Encyclopedia, 1999 Edition

Larson, E. David, M.D., Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, New York, William Morrow and Company, Inc., pages 648-650

Merriam-Webster's Medical Desk Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA: Merriam-Webster's Inc., 1996 page 105

"Physical Fitness" November 8, 2001
http://encarta.msn.com/find/concise.asp?z=1&pg=2&ti=761561844 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND THANK YOUS

 I would like to say a thank you to all of the people who helped me in the completion of my science project. I would have never been able to complete my project with out the help from all of you.

  • I would like to thank my mother and my grandmother for taking me to get and purchasing my materials and helping me with my board
  • I would also like to thank the staff at my school for letting me use them as my subjects
  • I would like to thank all of my classmates and friends that let me use them as my subjects as well
  • I would like to thank my science teacher, Mr. Arambul, for allowing me time out of my regular science class so that I could finish conducting my experiment
  • I would like to thank Mrs. Helms for helping me with my board and project
  • I would like to thank Mr. Newkirk for allowing me time in class to finish and complete my science project

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