Exercise 3.1: Breathing Rate

Experiment Time - Breathing Rate
Make sure you have read Read pages 417- 419

And now for some action!

How fast do you breath? Does your breath rate change with exercise? In this experiment you and a few of your friends are going to find out the answers to these questions.

When scientists conduct experiments they try to use a method of experimentation that is fairly common among all scientists. This will allow others to follow the same procedure. It will also allow others to compare their results with other groups conducting the same experiment.

The Scientific Procedure

Problem: An experiment is always started with the problem and is always
stated as a question. In this case our stated problem will be: How does
exercise affect breath rate?

Hypothesis: This is an educated guess of what the answer to the
problem will be. It involves researching the problem before the
experiment is conducted. From your previous experience what would you
think the affect of exercise will be on breath rate? Write your answer

Experimental Design: In this category the scientist will explain what the
manipulated and responding variable will be in the experiment. The
manipulated variable is that is the thing you change on purpose during
the experiment. In this case the manipulated variable will be the change
in activity you have during the experiment. The responding variable will
be the changes that happen because of the manipulated variable
changing. The responding variable in our experiment will be the change
in breath rate.

Procedure: The next step is to write down all the steps in the experiment.
Here is our procedure.

Read over the complete procedure before you begin.

1. Collect three or four friends of about the same age as
yourself to do the experiment with you.

2. Rest in comfortable chairs for five minutes.

3. At the end of the five minute period, measure your resting
breath rate by placing your hand on your chest and keeping
your eye on a clock or watch, count the number of times your
chest rises in one minute. (Everyone should use the same
clock and start and stop at the same time.)

4. Record your results in the table below under 'Resting
Breath Rate'.

5. Find a wide open space away from furniture and other
objects and do jumping jacks for 3 minutes.

6. At the end of the three minutes place you hand on your
chest and count your breath rate for one minute. (It is very
important that you do not wait after the exercise before you
begin your counting. Begin the count right away.)

7. Record your results under 'Exercise Breath Rate' in the
table below.
This is the portion of your experiment where you record your observations. In this case we will record changes in breath rate.

Name of Participants
Age of Participants
Resting Breath Rate in breaths per minute (bpm)
Exercise Breath Rate (bpm)
Difference in Breathing Rate (bpm)
This is the most important part of the experiment! What do the results mean? Look at the data in the table above, review what you have learned from the lesson on respiration and answer the following questions.
1. Why do you think there were differences between the participants resting breath rates?
2. Did every one complete the same amount of exercise during the experiment?
3. Did everyone have about the same increase in breath rate?
4. The level of fitness is different for each person. It is probable that even in the group of friends you chose there are some who are better at sports than others. Look at the data. Is athletic ability a factor in the different after exercise breath rates?
5. Further Experimentation and Research: This is where you record all the things that went wrong in the experiment and how you would do the experiment differently next time. Record your answer here