Name: __________________________                                             Date: ____________


Pulse Rate Lab


Part A—Introductory Problem


Hypothesis or Prediction


1. State a hypothesis about the effects of exercise on the resting pulse rate.




2. State a hypothesis about the recovery time required to return to normal resting pulse.





            Clock or watch with second hand

            Graph paper



Section One:

1.      Locate your pulse by placing your right index finger on the thumb side of your left wrist. Press lightly. You should feel a pulsing flow of blood. This pulsing is called the radial pulse. The radial artery is above the radius (the forearm bone on the thumb side). If you have difficulty with locating your pulse on your wrist, then try the carotid pulse. The carotid pulse is found by placing your index finger and middle fingers of your right hand on the side of your throat. Push these fingers up to feel the pulse.

2.      Practice finding your pulse a few times.

3.      Sit quietly for one minute. Count your pulse for 15 seconds. Calculate your pulse rate for one minute. Repeat two more times. Record your observations in Table 1.

4.      Determine your average pulse rate per minute. Record your pulse rate in Table 1.

5.      Compile a team average resting pulse. Use Table 2 to record data.


Section Two:

6.      Engage in some mild exercise for one minute. Walk around the room, do side bends, body twists or other light exercise as directed. After exercise is completed, take your pulse and record your results in Table 3. Repeat two more times to determine your average pulse rate after mild exercise.


Section Three:

7.      Now engage in vigorous exercise for one minute. Do push-ups, jumping jacks, sit-ups, jog in place, or some other vigorous exercise approved by your teacher. After exercise is completed, take your pulse. Record your results in Table 3. Repeat two more times to determine your average pulse rate after vigorous exercise.

8.      Repeat the vigorous exercise section of this activity to determine an average puplse rate after vigorous exercise. Immediately after exercise, sit quietly and take your pulse for 15 seconds. Continue taking the pulse again every minute for 15 seconds until it returns to the resting pulse rate or until time equals six minutes after exercise. Record all data on Table 4.

9.      Complete a line graph to show what happened to your pulse rate after exercise. Put pulse rate per minute on the y-axis, and time in minutes after exercise on the x-axis.


Table 1: Individual Resting Pulse Rate


Pulse Rate/ 15 seconds

Pulse rate/ minute














Table 2: Team Average Resting Pulse Rate

Team Member

Average Resting Pulse rate/minute












Table 3: Individual Pulse Rate During Exercise


Mild Exercise rate/ minute

Vigorous Exercise rate/minute























Table 4: Individual Pulse Rate: Time to Return to Normal Pulse


Time (minutes) After Exercise

Pulse rate/minute















1. Did your results support or reject your initial hypothesis? Explain.




2. Identify factors that could influence the pulse rate during exercise.




3. Why did you take a resting pulse rate?




4. What factors might determine a person’s time to return to normal?















Part B—Student designed experiment


Now that you have completed the preliminary part of this lab, design an experiment that can be carried out in the classroom for testing one factor that would affect the resting pulse guide. Design an experiment to test this factor. The following is a guide:



From the information you now have about this topic, develop a hypothesis that could be tested in a controlled experiment that will gather quantitative data.




Explain the reasoning behind your hypothesis.




The results should include designed tables and graphs.


Plan of Investigation

Consider the following questions in designing your data tables and graphs:

What will you measure?

What materials will you need?

How will you proceed with the investigation?

How will you show your results in tables and graphs?


What is the question you are investigating?




What variables are important?





What procedures would you use to test this?











What materials will you need for this investigation?





Have you included controls of trials? Explain.




What will you measure?




How will you graphically organize your data?