Title: Vital Signs

Purpose: To determine vital sign parameters and determine if vital signs between heart

            and lungs correlate, and if there is an effect of exercise on the body’s system.


Hypothesis: People of similar age groups and health should have vital signs relatively

            close to each other.  Vital signs change consistently based on internal and external

            factors.  Exercise will raise all vital sign numbers because the body’s cells have a

greater demand for oxygen when they are working harder.  The heart and lungs will both increase their rates. 


Materials: Sphygmomanometer, stopwatch/clock, bubbles, straws, rulers,

            paper towels


Procedure: There are 4 stations involved in this lab.  Move with your group, and follow the directions at each station precisely to guarantee accurate results.  Record the measurements of each of your vital signs CONFIDENTIALLY on your data sheet.  At each station, read and answer ALL questions on this sheet.  Once you have finished recording your vital signs, answer the “Lifestyle” questions on your data sheet.


Data: see attachment




            In class four stations were set up to gather vital signs on all classmates.  The vital signs included pulse, respiration rate, blood pressure, and lung capacity.  Lung capacity measures the volume of the air that can fill up your lungs.  Blood pressure measures the work of you heart while pumping and at rest.  Your heart works harder when there is more resistance in the arteries.  The pulse measures how many times your heart beats a minute to circulate oxygen to the tissues. The respiration rate measures that amount of breaths you need to take to keep the oxygen level your body needs and to remove the carbon dioxide.  Vital signs were also taken at rest and after exercise.  Comparisons of the findings were analyzed and variations between classmates exist.


            The majority of data falls within the normal range.  While each student’s vital signs were unique the majority fell with the pulse of 74.4 beats per minute (resting), 98 after exercise (pulse), blood pressure 107.9 (systolic), 86.4 (diastolic), respiration rate of 29.3, and a lung capacity of two.  The hypothesis that vital signs change with internal and external factors was correct.  The numbers were constantly lower on a person whose diet is rated eight or greater, compared to a person whose rated diet is five or less.  The data shows students with a higher rated diet have a lower pulse rate.  The average pulse rate was 71 for a healthier diet.  Students with a lower rated diet had a higher pulse rate of 79.  This means that the heart is working harder for this group.  In addition, the hypothesis was again true with higher numbers occurring after exercise.  Exercise causes the body to need more oxygen and the body breaths quicker and has a faster pulse rate to deliver this oxygen. The data shows that having an unhealthy diet gives a person high blood pressure.  The students who reported a better diet (eight or greater) had an average blood pressure of 108/68.  The students with a poor diet (five or lower) had an average blood pressure of 118/80.  This is because plaque builds up in their arteries and cause resistance of blood flow.  Finally, the people who get the least amount of sleep have the highest pulse.  The data shows that students who get a good amount of sleep (nine hours or greater) have a lower pulse.  The average pulse for these students was 77 heart beats per minute.  The students who get less amount of sleep (7.5 hours or less) have a higher pulse.  The pulse average for this group is 82 beats per minute.  This is because the body’s tissues need rest to function their best so when the person is awake the heart needs to beat faster to meet the needs of the tissue.


            This experiment helped demonstrate the normal ranges of vital signs, and the effect of exercise of the vital signs.  It also shows that vital signs vary per individual, but are mostly within the normal ranges.  A pattern noticed is exercise constantly raises vital sign numbers helping the body get oxygen.  The pulse at rest average was 74.4 while after exercise was 98.0.  The data shows that people who have a high heart beats tend to have a higher respiratory rate.  This shows that the body regulates its heart beats and respiratory rate to meet the body’s needs.  For example, student 35 has a pulse rate of 101 and a respiratory rate of 24 which are both higher than normal for this age group.  Again, student 2 has a pulse rate of 86 and a respiratory rate of 25 which are both a little high for this age group.




            The information about vital signs is useful in everyday life.  Knowing the normal parameters can allow you to give yourself or others a quick check on their/your health.  If numbers are raised when a person is at rest, for example an increased pulse, a person should see a doctor.  These higher numbers indicate the body is working harder than needed.  High blood pressure, called hypertension, is caused by arteries filling with plaque causing resistance.  This is a serious medical problem.  Vital signs are clearly vital in checking your health.