Effect of Exercise on the Rate of Respiration and the Heart Rate

How does increase the number of jumping jacks affect the rate of respiration and the heart rate per minute in teenagers aged 17-18?

Background Information: Different types of activity will have a different effect on the rate of respiration as well as the heart rate because of certain factors. These include the level of intensity and difficulty of the exercise, as well as determining whether it is an aerobic or anaerobic activity. Aerobic respiration requires the presence of oxygen. (Haldane, 2013). An example of this is a cardio activity, and in this case, jumping jacks fall under the category of cardio activity, so they require aerobic respiration. In contrast, anaerobic respiration does not require the presence of oxygen and is present in more high-intensity activities such as sprinting, releasing lactic acid which is broken down by the liver and combined with oxygen. Consequently, more oxygen is needed to pay off the oxygen debt’ that occurs during anaerobic activities. Aerobic respiration, performed at all times by all living organisms including plants and animals, is a process where the chemical energy of organic molecules gets transformed into a form that is suitable for organisms. (Ernst, 2016).

The organisms oxidize glucose for energy, and with the obtained energy usually derived from carbohydrates and fats, Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) is converted into Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), a crucial reaction to sustain life. ATP is constantly being used by the body, therefore it needs to be replaced and regenerated on a regular basis. This is achieved either through the consumption of food and by the generation of glucose, or by respiration. The cellular respiration formula formed by combining three processes i.e. glycolysis, Krebs cycle and electron transport chain. (Ernst, 2016) In the cellular respiration formula, glucose is broken down to release ATP (that can be utilized by cell) the cell respiration formula can be simplified as Glucose + 6 molecule of oxygen gas = to produce 6 molecules of carbon dioxide + 6 molecules of water + energy (as ATP)Respiratory quotient can be defined as the ration of carbon dioxide produced to oxygen being consumed for food to be broken down.

Therefore, it is necessary that one should consume food that is rich in carbohydrates during exercise since it has got high calories as shown by RQ. Normally, a teenager aged 17-18 will have a resting breathing rate of 12-20 breaths per minute. The normal resting heart rate for teenagers ranges from 60-100 beats per minute. The breathing rate and heart rates may be higher for males since they tend to have a bigger body structure and require more energy.  This is because as the level of activity increases, the rate of respiration and heart rate will automatically increase to bring more oxygen into the lungs so that the lungs can provide more oxygen to the blood, and out to the muscles which need that energy in order to keep working.

Controlled variables: Controlled variable Why it must be controlled How it will be controlled Same speed of jumping all the time If the speed of jumping is different throughout the different rounds, the effort will be different and this will affect the results as they will not be accurate. Develop a steady rhythm. Starting respiration and heart rates should be the same at every round of jumping jacks If the starting respiration and heart rates is not the same every time, the results won’t be accurate. To be fully rested before going for the next round and not do round after round straight away. The age of people performing experiments should be approximately the same This is important because a teenager will have drastically different results to a middle-aged person due to different health factors. Gather 30 people all of the same age between 17 to 18 Room temperature If it is too hot, the results won’t be accurate as the heat causes you to be tired faster, so the temperature should be optimized for best results.

Carry out an experiment in a place with room temperature/ cool. Measure respiration and heart rates the same way It is important to measure the respiration and heart rates straight after the jumping time is up in each case for fair results- not wait to record results. Turning stopwatch on the second the person has finished jumping and recording breathing rate and heart rate Equipment: Heart monitor, stopwatch, paper, pencil method:? Pick 14 volunteers, 7 females and 7 males?· Draw a table labeled rounds 1, 2, 3, and 4 with space for results underneath each round for 14 people, male and female separate?· Prepare stopwatch, paper, and pencil to time and for easy access to writing down results immediately after jumping jacks are done?· Find a free space, check surroundings for safety reasons?· Note down resting breathing rate ?· Start jumping jacks? Do jumping jacks for 1 minute the first round, increasing the time by one minute every round i.e, second round: 2 minutes, third round: 3 minutes, and fourth-round.?· Measure breathing rate as soon as a volunteer has completed the jumping jacks?·

Write the results of the breathing rate in the table ?· Wait until resting breathing rate?· In between resting time, record another volunteer’s results for efficient use of time?· Start jumping jacks again for each volunteer, do until third round: 3 minutes of jumping jacks?· Using collected results, plot a graph Safety:?· To have no surroundings: a space large enough for arms and legs to extend freely?· Take off all jewellery and items with sharp edges, anything that could get stuck or harm you i.e. necklace?· To ensure no food is in your mouth while you are exercising to avoid risks of choking?· Make sure you are doing jumping jacks correctly, with knowledge on how to do it safelyResultsThe following are the results for the males who participated in the exercise.

The orange bar represents no. of jumps at the third minute

The grey bar represents no. of jumps at the start of the experiment For Kevin, Brian, and Enoch respectively. From the graph and the table above, we are able to view the following trends

On the first minute after doing the jumps, there is a rapid increase of beats per minute on every individual selected. Continuous jumping results in the decline of a beat per minute. In the fourth minute, there is the stabilization of the beat per minute compared to the resting beat per minute. As one exercise more, one’s body adapts to the system thus does not require much breathing like in the start of the jumping jacks, For example, people like Kevin is used in exercising, that is why he does not require to breathe at a higher rate, unlike Brian. Also, their heart rate always returns to normal faster after physical activity

Justification and discussion

We can surely deduce that when one increases the number of jumping jacks, there will be a correspondence increase in heartbeat until it arrives at an optimal rate. Also, it will ensure that there is an increase of food being burned to produce Adenosine Triphosphate (which will be utilized by the muscle). (Haldane, 2013)

Moreover, jumping jacks requires muscle to be supplied with blood rich in oxygen since it is an example of aerobic respiration. As the muscle continues to work hard, the blood need to supply oxygen continually so that food can be oxidized. All the process named above will result to an increase at which the heart is beating. Remember that when you are exercising, heat is usually the by-product of the reactions taking place. Thus there will an increase in body temperature of the people in the case study above. For the body to cool, there will an increase at which blood will flow nearby the skin or vasodilation. Sweet will be produced via the skin thus bringing about the cooling effect. We can conclude that both the amalgamation of amplified demand from both the muscle and the skin allows the heart to pump blood at a faster rate, hence increased supply of blood in both organs (Ernst, 2016)

It is of importance that we note there is increase at which the one breathes while he/she is exercising. increase at which heart beats is directly proportional to the rate at which one inhales oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Thus heart rate and rate of respiration need to work together during exercise. If one of the fail, it will result to one being sick.It is necessary that one should take note at the way he/she is breathing. When the rate of heart beat is higher that then the expected normal, then there are high chances that you will get ill. From the experiment above we are able to deduce that it takes about four-minute, for the heart rate to return to normal. When someone is fit this will lower the rate of respiration and heart beat since they are used to the conditions. One is recommended that he or she should train in the morning hours or in the evening when the rate of respiration is high and once should eat earlier for him or her to gain fully.


The aim of this experiment was to find out whether the breathing rate and heart rate are affected by exercise. It is obvious that the breathing rate is directly proportional to heart rate and both should amalgamate during exercise to prevent illness (Haldane, 2013). It is important to note that jumping jacks it’s an example of cardiovascular exercise and therefore it demands to a continuous supply of oxygen.


  • Ernst, G. (2016). Heart rate variability. Place of publication not identified: Springer London Ltd.
  • Haldane, J. S. (2013). Respiration. 
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