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Respiration (Breathing Rates) Experiment

Method (incl. Results)

Respiration Rate Sensor (Pasco has two sensors in one. It consists of a Low Pressure Sensor and a Respiration Belt.) The respiration belt attaches to the pressure port on the sensor. Set up sensor according to instructions in manual.
Switch on interface.
Load Data Studio software on the computer.
Click on "create an experiment".
Go to sensors and choose the respiration rate sensor.
Go to DATA - choose respirations/min.
(Double click to see Data properties screen. Usually there is no need to alter anything here. Properties can be set if desired e.g. Minimium or maximium values)

A Graph, table and meter can be set up on sreen if desired.
Click and drag Respiration rate ChA(respirations/min) from data on to graph under display.
If units are not shown on the graph, drag respiration rate (breaths/min) from data over the graph.
To rescale the axes get cursor over a value on the axes a new mouse shape appears, click and drag left or right.
Click and drag Respiration rate ChA(respirations/min) from data on to table under display.
Click and drag Respiration rate ChA(respirations/min) from data on to meter under display.
(The graph, table and meter if needed can be moved around the screen by clikcing and holding the blue bar and then dragging them into position.)
You are now ready to start the data recording.

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Ensure that the subject is resting and is comfortable with the belt around their chest.
Connect the tube from the bladder to the low pressure sensor. Close the valve on the squeeze bulb of the respiration rate sensor.
Inflate teh bladder by squeezing the bulb 20 to 30 times until the bladder is tight but not uncomfortable.
Click on the start button to record data, let it run for a little over 60 seconds. Then click on stop.
Get the subject to run on the spot.
Record the data while exercising for 60 seconds. The student continues to run but stop recording the data.
Now stop the student running and start recording the data again for 60 seconds. Then stop

Conclusion: Breathing rate is increased greatly during exercise and return to normal quite quickly after 1 minute exercise.

Lung Volumes:
The volume or capacity of each breath cannot be measured in this way. However, if the voltage against time is plotted rather than breaths per minute then a pattern similar to that of the graph for lung volume can be seen. If one takes a deep inspiration it shows clearly on the graph.

Teacher Comments:
This experiment is referred to as respiration rate and respirations per minute are recorded. However, it is really breathing rate and breaths per minute that are measured.
The results are clearly shown and students can see clearly that the rate is nto a steady value but changes over time. The average can be calculated over time.
The ability to show the effect of exercise and the pattern of "lung volumes" is useful.
It is also interesting to note how results vary between individuals.

It is important that the belt is fitted properly and that the student has time to adjust to it.
Results can be quite subjective and often in error where the student is very concious of their breathing and this can effect the rate and depth of breathing. To counterarct this it is important to allow the student time to adapt to the belt.

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