Physiology Practical(2010/11) : Measuring Body Parameters

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BS0005-Physiology PRACTICAL(2010/11) : Measuring Body Parameters


Physiology is the study of the functions of living organisms. In this physiology practical, measurements of 41 students’ weight (kg) using electronic weighing scales, height (cm) using height measuring scales, skin fold thickness using callipers (mm), heart rate by counting pulse rates were made and then these results were tabulated on an excel sheet. The aim of this practical is to deduce how students’ weights and heights are distributed and observe if they fall within the normal range.

Method: “refer to schedule”


The extreme values are the minimum and maximum values. In our class of 41 students, the lowest height measured was 1.38 m and the highest height measured was 1.895 m. As a result the range of the height measured is 0.515 m. Moreover, the mean height for the class was 1.7 m. Moreover, the largest weight measured was 108kg and the lowest weight measured was 36kg. So the range for the weight measured is 72kg. The mean weight for the class was 58.75 kg. Furthermore, the smallest BMI calculated was 16.0 and the highest BMI calculated was 70. Therefore the range for the BMI is 54. And the mean BMI for the class was 24.1. The highest pulse rate measured was 120 bpm (beats per minute) and the lowest was 60 bpm (beats per minute). So the range of the heart rate for the class is 60 bpm (beats per minute). In our class the highest percentage of body fat was 43.7 % and the lowest percentage of body fat was 8.1 %. Consequently the range of the percentage of body fat is 35.6%.


Lifestyle, age and genetics affect weight, height and therefore BMI and your heart rate. Overall and on average, males are taller than females as seen in the results. For example, heights of some males include 1.79 m, 1.71m, 1.75m compared to some heights of females of 1.67m, 1.58m and 1.63m. This difference arises because males have a growth spurt at the end of puberty which is of greater duration than females till the epiphysis fuses. Consequently, epiphysis closes later for males than females. This all allows males to be on average 13cm taller than females. Moreover, male’s rate of growth is faster than females due to higher blood testosterone levels during puberty which stimulates faster growth. Furthermore certain individuals were short compared to others with heights of 1.53m, 1.55m, and 1.63m while others were tall with heights of 1.75m, 1.71m and 1.79m. These differences can be attributed to genetics factors and environmental factors such as nutrition and lifestyle. Genetics factors attribute 60-80% while environmental factors such as diet attribute 20-40% to the height of an individual.

28 students had heart rates which were between 60-90 beats per minute at rest which is considered to be normal with values such as 80bpm, 88bpm, 78bpm and 68bpm. This implies that those students didn’t require much oxygen to be supplied to their muscles because there was not much requirement for energy to do much physical activity. In effect, this decreased their heart rate and less oxygen was being circulated via the heart and blood vessels. Certain individuals had a resting heart rate at rest higher than 100 with 104 and 108 bpm which is called tachycardia and is considered to be not fit. This could’ve been due to low fitness level or not a true representation of their resting heart rate because of anxiety, previous caffeine intake or previous physical activity. While some students had quite low resting rates with 68 bpm and 60 bpm which shows that these students were the fittest from the class.

There were students with small weights of 48kg, 53kg and 55kg, while other students had large weights such as 80kg, 94kg and 100kg.This difference could have been due to factors such as nutrition where people follow a balanced diet while others don’t; variations in physical activity...
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