Island 3 Vernier Measuring Heart Rates

Scientific Data and Analysis

POP students are challenged to use the Vernier Hand-Grip Heart Rate Monitor to conduct a variety of experiments on heart rates and human physiology


Island 3 Vernier Measuring Heart Rates

Design Specifications

Facts About the Heart

We often talk about the heart in reference to emotions. You can have a “kind heart” or be “heartless.” You can have your “heartbroken” or “wear your heart on your sleeve.” 

But how much do you know about your physical heart muscle? What does it do? How does it work? 

Here are some interesting facts about the heart:

  • Your heart beats approximately 30 million times a year and pumps 4,000 gallons of blood every day.

  • The average resting heart rate for an adult male is 70 beats per minute (bpm). The average rate for adult females is 75 bpm. The heart rate for a newborn baby is 100–160 bpm.

  • The average adult has over 60,000 miles of blood vessels. This is long enough to circle the globe two-and-a-half times.


Exterior Structures of the Heart

The heart is the pump that fuels your cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system is responsible for one of the most important functions in your body. It carries blood past the lungs where it absorbs oxygen. It then delivers the oxygen to every part of your body. On the return trip, it collects waste gasses so your body can dispose of them.

The heart is actually a muscle a little larger than the size of your fist. There are four chambers in your heart: two upper chambers called atria and two lower chambers called ventricles. Blood is pumped to your body by the left side of your heart through vessels called arteries and returns on the right side through vessels called veins.

As each ventricle expands and contracts, one-way valves keep blood flowing into the right atrium and out from the left atrium. The two pulses you feel in each heartbeat are actually the valves opening and closing. The full heartbeat is called a cardiac cycle.

What Happens When You Exercise

Cells need oxygen to perform basic functions like turning food into energy. When you exercise, muscle cells must work harder than usual and need more oxygen to operate. Since each cardiac cycle pumps the same volume of blood, your heart must beat faster to meet the increased oxygen demand.

Your respiratory rate also increases—you breathe faster and deeper to increase oxygen intake, which is absorbed by the blood as it passes through your lungs. Then your cardiovascular system delivers it through those many blood vessels to where it can be used by muscle cells.