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LAB: THE EFFECT OF BODY INVERSION ON HEART RATE

Introduction:

Heart rate is the amount of times the heart beats in one minute. An average heart will beat anywhere

between 60-90 beats per minute (BPM) when it is resting. There are many factors that affect heart rate

such as exercise, hormones, medicine, altitude, wind, humidity, heat, etc.… One factor whose affect on

heart is partially unknown is body inversion, or being upside down. This will be the factor that we are

investigating in this experiment.

Body inversion is where a person’s body is flipped or upside down. There are different stages of body

inversion relating to the angle that they are inverted at. A person may be 45 degrees inverted, or 90

degrees inverted, but in both cases, their body is still upside down to a certain extent. Some

experiments have been done relating to body inversion, as there are body inversion therapies to fix

spinal problems and the side effects of this therapy on the body were to be researched. The findings of

many experiments regarding heart rate and inversion have all been inconsistent. In a study done by

Michael Zito, heart rate was nearly unaffected by inversion whereas a study done by John D. Lemarr

found that heart arte decreased after an inversion period of three minutes.1

Since experimental results have been inconsistent, it is hard to base a hypothesis using this information.

Therefore, results obtained through these experiments did not factor into how the hypothesis was

formed. When the body is flipped, blood naturally runs to the brain via the effects of gravity rather than

down to the feet if you were standing upright. The distance from the feet to heart is a longer distance

than from the brain to the heart if you were upright. Therefore it was reasoned that the heart would

have to pump quicker and harder to counteract the effects of gravity and get blood to the feet and toes

than if you were not inverted.

Research Question:

Hypothesis:

If a person is inverted for 30, 60, and 90 seconds, the longer that person is inverted, the lower the heart

rate he or she will have.

Variables:

1 http://ptjournal.apta.org/content/68/1/20.full.pdf

Levels of Independent: 30 seconds, 60 seconds, and 90 seconds.

Materials:

1. 2 Chairs

2. Room Temperature Room

Procedure:

1. Set up two chairs side by side so that the test subject can lie down across them.

2. Have the test subject rest for 60 seconds to make sure their heart rate is at their resting heart rate.

3. Have the test subject count his or her heart rate for 30 Seconds. Multiply the number by two and

record the heart rate.

4. Lay the test subject across the two chairs, and have their head and enough of their back hanging off

the end of the chair so that the subjects head is resting on the ground.

5. Have the test subject counting their heart rate for 30 seconds immediately after they’re hanging off

the chair.

7. Have the test subject rest for 60 seconds so his or her heart rate returns to normal.

9. Have the test subject inverted for 30 seconds and then count his or her heart rate for 30 seconds

while still inverted. (Give the subject a heads up to find their pulse 10 seconds before they have to

start counting)

11. Have the test subject rest for 60 seconds so his or her heart rate returns to normal.

13. Have the test subject inverted for 60 seconds and then count his or her heart rate for 30 seconds

while still inverted. (Give the subject a heads up to find their pulse 10 seconds before they have to

start counting)

16. To keep the controlled variables constant, do the following:

B. Do all trials in the same room.

C. Make sure the room is indoors in an environment that is kept at around room temperature.

Data Tables:

Heart Rate after: (BPM)

Starting Heart

Test Subject 30 Seconds 60 Seconds 90 Seconds

Rate (BPM)

#1 92 62 60 58

#2 90 64 70 80

#3 64 72 66 68

#4 90 88 80 69

#5 110 82 104 102

#6 80 100 88 76

#7 80 88 54 70

#8 96 76 80 68

#9 92 84 84 86

#10 108 104 94 86

Difference in Heart Rate from Starting Heart Rate at Different Amounts of Time

of being Inverted

Difference in Heart Rate after: (BPM)

Test Subject 30 Seconds 60 Seconds 90 Seconds

#1 -30 -32 -34

#2 -26 -20 -10

#3 8 2 4

#4 -2 -10 -21

#5 -28 -6 -8

#6 20 8 -4

#7 8 -26 -10

#8 -20 -16 -28

#9 -8 -8 -6

#10 -4 -14 -22

Average -8.2 -12.2 -13.9

Sample Calculations: (Instructions will be based off a Ti-89)(Units are all in BPM)

To find the mean, take the values from the first column and add them up. Then divide by how many

numbers there are in that column.

(−30)+ (−26)+ (8)+ (−2)+ (−28)+ (20)+ (8)+ (−20)+ (−8)+ (−4) −82

Ex: 30 Seconds: 10

= 10

= −8.2

To calculate range, take the lowest value and the highest value of a set of data and subtract the lower

value from the higher value.

To find the standard deviation, take the values for each amount of time (except the average) and put

them into three different columns. To do this, go to the home screen and open up the data editor.

Create a new data table and name it whatever you like. Insert the values into 3 columns on the data

table in the calculator. Then, select F5 and click on 1 variable stats. From here, enter the column you

want analyzed into the x value box. (Ex: c1 for column 1 and c2 for column 2….). Then click enter and a

screen pops up. The x with the bar on top is the mean and the x with an S looking shape next to it is the

standard deviation.

Range 50.000 bpm 40.000 bpm 38.000 bpm

Mean -8.2000 bpm -12.200 bpm -13.900 bpm

Standard Deviation 17.319 bpm 12.164 bpm 11.855 bpm

Graph:

after Inversion (with error bars)

10

8

6

4

2

Difference in heart Rate (BPM)

0

-2 30 60 90

-4

-6

-8

-10

-12

-14

-16

-18

-20

-22

-24

-26

Time Spent Inverted (Seconds)

1. First come up with a null hypothesis. This is basically the opposite of the hypothesis you stated

earlier. Then state the alternative hypothesis, which is the one you stated earlier. Since the data

is already rejecting the hypothesis, we will need to remake our hypothesis so we can do a t-test.

Null Hypothesis: If we do a t-test between the data of 30 and 60 seconds, we will find that the

decreased heart rate is not a result of the increased inversion time.

Alternative Hypothesis: If we do a t-test between the data of 30 and 90 seconds, we will find that

the decreased heart rate is a result of the increased inversion time.

2. Next you pick a significance level. This is basically what you use to reject the null hypothesis. We

will set it .05 or 5% because that gives us a 95% probability that this data is not due to chance.

Next, find your degrees of freedom. This is where you add up the sample size of both data sets and

subtract by 2. This will help you get a value from the t-table chart next step.

3. Third, you go to your t table chart and find the t-table value corresponding to the significance

level and the degrees of freedom. This number that you find basically signifies the number used

in the rejection region. The rejection region is where you find out if your null hypothesis is

rejected or accepted.

4. You then take 2 data sets that you chose earlier and enter them into the list editor in the

calculator. In our case, we chose column 1 and column 2, or 30 and 60 seconds. After putting

the values in your calculator, click F5. Then scroll to two-tailed t-test and click it. For the x value,

enter the first column number, or column 1 in our case (c1). Then for the y value enter the

second column or in our case, column 3 (c3). Then click enter.

5. Next you compare the t-calculated value to the t-table value. If it is higher than the positive t-

table value, or lower than the negative t-table value, it is in the rejection region and you reject

the null hypothesis. Our value is in the middle so we reject the alternative hypothesis and accept

the null hypothesis.

6. After doing the t-test, we can conclude that the data for the 30 and 60 seconds is not

statistically significant. We should do a correlation test just to make sure there is not connection

between heart rate and inversion for those two times.

Correlation Coefficient:

1. The values should already be in the calculator. Hit F5 when in the list editor and hit LinReg. Then

put c1 into the x value and c3 into the y value and hit enter. The corr is the correlation

coefficient. For us it turns out to be .5673. This means there’s a slight correlation.

Results:

If we do t-tests and correlation coefficients between the rest of the data, we will get the following

results.

30 and 60 Seconds No .5673-Slight Positive Correlation

30 and 90 Seconds No .5272-Slight Positive Correlation

60 and 90 Seconds No .6859-Slight Positive Correlation

Conclusion: Based on how we interpreted the data, we can conclude that there is not a correlation

between increasing exercise times and the rate of carbon dioxide being produced in our body. First, if

we analyze the means, we can see that the mean gets smaller as the time of exercise gets higher. The

mean for 30 seconds of exercise was 35.26, whereas the mean for 90 seconds of exercise (more

exercise) is way lower at 23.52. That clearly shows a drop in the amount of time it took the BTB to

change color after exercising for longer. This means that it took less time for the BTB to change colors

after more exercise. Just from the mean, we can see that there is some kind of relationship between the

carbon dioxide production and the length of exercise. Next, I looked at the error bars. They showed that

the data between the 30 and 60 seconds was not statistically significant because the error bars were

overlapping (Refer to graph). But I did notice that the error bars between the 30 and 90 seconds were

not overlapping, which means that the data between those 2 is statistically significant. Those two

categories turned out to be nice because they are the 2 extremes. So because the data could be

statistically significant, I made sure of this by performing a t-test. The t-test concluded that in fact the

data is statistically significant as thought of before, but I also found that there is a correlation between

the two, (after calculating for the correlation coefficient), as well. The correlation coefficient was .109.

This is a tiny number, but is still positive. Although the correlation coefficient is a tiny number, it still

shows that there is a correlation between carbon dioxide production and length of exercise. If we go

back to our background information, we predicted that the carbon dioxide production would increase as

exercise time increased. From the data we got, I think it supports our predictions and goes along with

our background information.

One weakness for this experiment would be analyzing our BTB for color change. It was not very

clear as to what color we were looking for, and even then some people would time for light green,

others for green, and some people would just stop w hen the time got too high. So I think if we made

the part of the procedure about timing for the color change more efficient than it would make the

experiment a lot better. This part of the experiment is crucial because it gives us our data. A lot of our

error came from this part of the procedure, which could account for the small correlation coefficient. A

second source of error could be the way people were blowing into the straws. Some people were

blowing harder than others and others were makings sure no air escaped etc… This is a huge error

because again, it affects the rate at which the BTB changes color and in the end, our data.

To fix these errors, I would suggest maybe showing people pictures beforehand of what kinda

color they are looking for to time till. That way instead of just light green or green, they know exactly

what the color should be. Also, just like the jumping jacks, we should have made the breathing uniform

too so that everyone breathes at the same time and same rate to make the data more accurate.

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