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Physical Health Indicator: Pulse Rate Experiment


Pulse rate is an essential indicator of a person’s health and fitness. According to Arena et al., “cardiorespiratory fitness, determined by exercise testing, is considered a vital sign” (180). Therefore, by examining a person’s pulse, a health professional can gain an understanding of their physical state. With exercise, the pulse rate of an individual increases because one’s body requires more oxygen to facilitate the movements.

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An examination of a person’s pulse can provide insight into their health, especially when measuring the before and after the pulse of an individual engaged in exercise. In this experiment, I asked individuals to walk a flight of stairs. They were instructed to take a fast pace when running up and down the staircase. This lab report aimed to examine the pulse of individuals after strenuous physical activity. This was comparable to daily activities a person can be engaged in during physical training and other exercising to explore the pulse rate as an indicator of physical health. The tested hypothesis was that if a person walks briskly up and also down a flight of stairs, their heart rate will increase.


This experiment aimed to examine the pulse rate of people who walked up and down the stairs. For this lab experiment, four people aged forty years old and older were asked to run up and down the stairs tow times. I measured their pulse for 30 seconds and multiplied each value. The main question tested in this experiment was whether the pulse of these people would increase after a strenuous exercise. The dependent variable was the pulse rate, and the independent variable is exercise. The control was the measurement of the pulse before the training begins.


Since the pulse of the four participants was measured twice during the experiment, it was necessary to examine and compare both values. Table 1 presents an assessment of the results and Column 1 is the pulse rate of each participant before the experiment, which is considered to be their regular pulse. Column 2 in Table 1 is the pulse after the test, which is the dependent variable of this experiment. The difference between the two measures was calculated by subtracting the value of the subject’s pulse before the exercise from the value after. An increase in the pulse was observed during this experiment for all four subjects.

Additionally, during the procedure, the pulse was measured for 30 seconds, and to obtain accurate results, each outcome, before and after exercise, was multiplied by two to obtain a pulse measure for sixty seconds. The following are the calculations for each Subject:

  • Subject 1: 40×2=80; 63×2=126
  • Subject 2: 39×2=78; 55×2=110
  • Subject 3: 38×2=76; 74×2=148
  • Subject 3: 33×2=66; 66×2=132

Additionally, the average increase of the subjects pulse was calculated using the following formula:

Average pulse increase = (46+32+72+66)/4=54.

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  Pulse before Pulse after Difference (increase)
Subject 1 80 126 46
Subject 2 78 110 32
Subject 3 76 148 72
Subject 4 66 132 66

Table 1. Results of the experiment (created by the author).


The hypothesis that this experiment aimed to test is whether the heart rate of a person walking up and down the stairs quickly will increase. The results supported the hypothesis since all four subjects of this experiment experienced an increase in their pulse. The most significant increase was observed in Subject 4, whose initial pulse prior to exercising was estimated at 76 and after the exercising reached 148. Based on the obtained data, one can argue that strenuous exercise, such as walking briskly up and down the stairs, affects a person’s pulse by increasing it.

Other experiments that can help test the hypothesis further will be based on an exercise in different environments and different types of physical activity. For example, future experiments may focus on the difference between exercises that requires strength and cardio activities, comparing the difference in the pulse increase of subjects participating in each study. One problem that was not addressed in this experiment is the lack of attention to the initial pulse and outcome pulse, as illustrated by Subject 4.

The participant’s pulse before the exercise was the highest out of the four subjects, and after running up and down the stairs, Subject 4 displayed a high pulse rate as well. Additionally, I would like to examine the difference in pulse after exercise of physically fit subjects compared to those who do not exercise, since this experiment did not account for the difference in physical state.

The difference can be connected to the individual’s overall health and can be examined more in-depth in future research. In the future, issues with the experiment will be addressed by conducting experiments with individuals whose initial pulse is high. Another experiment that will help test the hypothesis about the pulse of individuals during exercise can involve different exercise settings, such as gym training or running. I would like to conduct an experiment that tests a hypothesis regarding the decrease of the pulse at rest after consistent exercising for several weeks. This study will help understand whether a person can improve his or her health state through regular exercises since the pulse is a vital health state indicator.

Work Cited

Arena, Ross, et al. “Peak Oxygen Pulse Responses During Maximal Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing: Reference Standards From FRIEND (Fitness Registry and the Importance of Exercise: an International Database).” International Journal of Cardiology, vol. 301, 2020, pp. 180–182.

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