It is a well known fact that respiratory rates increase during moments of physical activity yet it must be noted that the subsequent increase in the amount of heartbeats per second differs from person to person (Drury, 2011).
As explained by Santtila, Keijo, Laura & Heikki (2008), the average adult heart beats at roughly 60 to 100 times per minute with a subsequent 20 to 30 percent increase during moments of physical exertion (Santtila, Keijo, Laura & Heikki, 2008). This statistical average is different in the case of athletes who usually have hearts beats of 40 to 60 per minute with only a minor increase in the overall number of beats.
Knez, Coombes, & Jenkins (2006) identifies the difference as being the result of variances in cardio-vascular endurance wherein athletes due to their greater amount of physical activity and endurance have far stronger heart muscles and a greater degree of oxygen saturation in their blood stream which causes a far lesser degree of stress on the body when performing various physically demanding activities (Knez, Coombes, & Jenkins, 2006).
Taking such viewpoints into consideration the purpose of this particular paper is simple: to examine the difference between the heart rates of athletes and non-athletes before and after periods of physical exertion. For the purposes of this examination the 3 step test will be utilized which Obert et al. (2003) defines as one of the more plausible methods of differentiating between performance levels of athletes and non-athletes (Obert et al., 2003).
The test will consist of the test subjects going up and down a raised platform at a particular rate to measure the resulting data from the physical activity. It is the hypothesis of this study that there will be a noticeable and measurable difference between the pulse rates of athletes and non-athletes when performing the same exercise at the same rate.
Method and Materials
For this particular experiment students were divided into six groups, there were four people in each group, and at least one member was an athlete and one was a non-athlete. The other two people were responsible for measuring pulse rates at the test subjects.
One was also responsible for and using a stop watch to count the seconds, while the other member recorded the data into a table. The experiment proceeded by first measuring the pulse rates of both test subjects (athlete and non-athlete) before the three step test and after the three step test. The results were cataloged by the group member responsible for recording the results.
Average pulse rate before step testAverage pulse rate after step testDifference between pulse rates