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Choose ONE CHARACTERISTIC from the list below to formulate a hypothesis and to make predictions. The
characteristic you select is one that you believe will affect an individual’s response to exercise. You will also
need to give a rationale for your hypothesis, based on your prior knowledge or observations.
You may need to do some preliminary research and reading to help you choose a CHARACTERISTIC.
LIST OF CHARACTERISTICS:
These are the characteristics that will be recorded in the class data set:
• Biological Sex
• Smoking habits
• Fitness level
• Amount of exercise per week
• Intensity when exercising
• Typical hours of sleep
• Stage of menstrual cycle (if applicable)
Design your hypothesis in such a way that will allow you to test the effect of ONE experimental variable.
Some ideas for experimental variables include: the effect of age OR the effect of fitness level OR the effect of
1. Using the class data set that will be posted on Blackboard in the folder titled “Data Submission and
Class Data Set”, you need to select participants based on your hypothesis and according to their
characteristics. There are many ways you can analyze the data, but you are asked to use the following
procedure to make your analysis simple. This will be based on dividing your chosen characteristic into
two groups. You will need to select 5 participants in each of your two groups (10 in total). If you
exercised, you may include your own data as one of the 10. If you didn’t exercise, you must choose all
10 from the posted table.
2. Keeping your hypothesis in mind, look at the characteristics that have been posted and determine how
you would like to group the participants into two groups. If you are comparing females and males, for
example, you would select 5 males and 5 females. For characteristics with more than two categories,
or with a range of measurements, it becomes more complicated. For some, like fitness level, you can
decide on which two groups to use, such as comparing below average to above average (leaving out
the average and elite groupings—or any other combination). Or, for example, if you hypothesized that
age would have an effect on response and recovery to exercise, you could decide to group participants
into two groups: 1) less than or equal to 20 years and 2) greater than or equal to 25 years (or of course
you can choose different ranges). Think about choosing two groups that are significantly different. For
example, do not choose to compare individuals who are 160 cm tall with those who are 164 cm tall, as
this is a fairly small difference.
3. You will need to choose 5 participants for each group (for example, 5 males and 5 females, OR 5
smokers and 5 non-smokers). Other than your chosen characteristic, try to keep as many of the other
characteristics the same as possible. For example, if you are comparing current smokers to participants
who never smoked, you could choose to analyze all female participants for each group, all of average
fitness level and all within a certain height and weight range. They would only differ in that one group
smokes and the other does not smoke. It will likely not be possible to keep all other characteristics the
same, and that is acceptable for this project. You can address this and what effect it might have, in the
discussion of your report.
4. When you select your 5 participants for each group, try not to do this in a way that would create a
bias. For example, do not look at the heart rates to see which ones are more likely to fit your
5. Once you have your 5 participants in each group, you will need to calculate the means and standard
deviations for your two groups for the three times that were measured: at rest, right after exercise
and after 5 minutes of recovery. You may do this any way you would like but an Excel spreadsheet can
be helpful. Use Workshop #1 to assist you, particularly if you are not familiar with using Excel to make
these calculations. You will need to do these types of calculations for both heart rate and respiration
rate each at rest, response, and recovery.
6. You will need to present your averages and standard deviations in two graphs, one for the heart rate
and one for the respiration rate data. Workshop #1 will assist you with this if you are not familiar with
how to create graphs in Excel.
7. Finally you will need to carry out a simple statistical analysis (a t-test) on your data to determine
whether there are any differences between the two groups you have chosen for your selected criteria.
Workshop #1 will assist you with these statistical calculations using Excel.
8. Once you have created your graphs and carried out your analysis, you should be able to conclude
whether the data support your hypothesis or not and you will be able to complete your final lab
1. Title page (2/100)
Title must be descriiptive and reflective of the experiment. For example, “Exercise Physiology Project”
is not an acceptable title. It could be “The effect of age on response and recovery after exercise”, or it
could even include a little more specific detail. You must also include your name, student number,
course number, date, and word count of the body of your report (i.e., not title page, references, etc.)
in the upper left corner (same as we have done in the other course assignments this term).
Your title should be 12 words or less.
2. Introduction (20/100)
• Identify the topic (in your case the topic is HOMEOSTASIS; one sentence).
• Provide background information relevant to the subject. You must include at least three literature
references including your textbook (or another general source) and one primary (reporting original
data) and one secondary (reviewing others’ research) journal articles. The background could
include information about the interactions of organisms with their environment, the important
role of homeostasis in mammals, changes triggered by stress that maintain homeostasis, the
specific characteristics that influence response and recovery, etc. The background should focus on
exercise as the “stress”, and factors that may influence the response to this stress (e.g., previous
fitness level, smoking, BMI). The rationale for your purpose and hypothesis should be clear.
However, avoid mentioning the mechanisms that are used to maintain homeostasis after exercise
as these will form part of your discussion.
• Establish why the study is important (one sentence). Why is important to know how organisms
respond to stress?
• Give a brief summary of the scope and purpose of your study (explain the stress used (exercise),
the parameters measured (pulse and breathing rate), and the characteristic you are comparing, in
a way that demonstrates the overall purpose for the lab; 2-3 sentences).
• End with a hypothesis statement and one or two predictions (2-3 sentences)
3. Methods (10/100)
• Remember that methods must be repeatable, i.e., meaning that anyone who wishes to replicate
your experiment should be able to do so easily. The descriiption should be brief and clearly
expressed and should be written in sentences and in past tense. You should describe what the
participants did, rather than write out a set of instructions.
• You should include the fact that participants used a variety of methods to exercise, methods of
measurement of pulse and breathing, and the timing of the exercise and measurements.
• You should describe how you selected the two groups you analyzed (e.g., From the class data set, I
selected five participants who sleep an average of 8 or more hours per night and five participants
who sleep an average of 6 or fewer hours per night).
• Explain which other characteristics you kept constant (e.g., all selected participants were males
between the ages of 20 and 22).
• State which statistical test you used to analyze the data — this will be a t-test.
• The use of “I” will be permitted in this report when appropriate (e.g., I selected 10 participants in
total…). You can also choose to use passive voice throughout (e.g., Ten participants were chosen
from the class data set…).
4. Results (20/100)
• Present the data in graph form, using two graphs, one for heart rate and one for respiratory rate.
• Label the graphs as Figure 1 and Figure 2. Put the Figure number and a caption for the figure
BELOW the graph. (e.g., Figure 1: A comparison of heart rate in smokers compared to non-smokers
at rest, immediately following five minutes of exercise and after five minutes of recovery).
• Provide a written text in the Results section that will explain the most important or key features
seen in each Figure that you wish to emphasize to the reader. Make sure that you refer to the
figures in your text. For example: Figure 1 shows that resting heart rates in participants who are
non-smokers is significantly lower/higher than…). Along with identifying major trends, include
information that will quantify the changes you observed, and/or highlight particular points of
interest in the data. Also include any relevant observations that were made during the
experiments (e.g., sweating, flushing, etc.). As you may notice, your Result section only includes
figures that have the means and standard deviations. However, as part of the results, you must
include an Appendix that includes the raw data (see below).
5. Discussion (30/100)
The Discussion explains why you might have observed what you did in your Results. Here are some
things to consider including in your discussion. You must cite references for any information you use
that is not general knowledge. General knowledge will include most of what we have learned in this
course, so you do not need to cite the lecture notes. However, if in doubt, cite our textbook or another
one. You must use a minimum of three references, two of which must be journal articles (at least one
must be a primary source).
The following are some questions you might consider in writing your Discussion:
• What do the data suggest about the effects of your chosen characteristic on response and
recovery after exercise? On resting measurements?
• What do your results indicate about the body’s response to exercise? For example, you could
o What triggers the dramatic change in pulse and breathing with the stress of exercise?
o Why do pulse and respiratory rate remain elevated after exercise stops?
o How did exercise influence body temperatures?
o What is the function of sweating? Of blanching or flushing of the skin?
o How do these responses of the body to exercise relate to the maintenance of internal
o How are these responses shut down once the stress of exercise is removed?
• You can also include in your discussion a list of other parameters (e.g., blood pressure) that
have not been included in your experiment but could be of interest to expand your study.
• Describe any limitations to this study or things that make your conclusions less strong than
they could be.
• Describe what features you were not able to keep constant and what influence this might have
on the results.
• Conclude with a brief statement that refers back to your hypothesis and whether or not it was
supported. Please recall that you cannot “prove” that your hypothesis is “correct”. What you
can do is say whether or not the data you analyzed support your hypothesis. So you could say:
“The result of this experiment support/do not support my hypothesis that …”
6. References (10/100)
Your textbook is a good resource for information about exercise physiology and related topics (heart
rhythm, breathing rhythms, blood pressure, muscle metabolism, temperature regulation, etc.). You
should also access other appropriate textbooks and journal articles (you should aim for at least 5
references including your textbook and 4 journal articles published since the year 2010. At least two
of the journal references should be a primary source (i.e., a report of original research, not a
textbook, website, review, etc.). You will use APA7 format to cite your sources.
7. Appendix (3/100)
You should include a table of the raw data that you used in your analysis, which includes only the ten
participants that you chose. You should include the Subject Numbers you used—these will be listed in
the class set of data. If you exercised, you do not need to find your own subject number. Be sure to
give your table a number and title. The title for a Table goes at the top.
8. Overall presentation (5/100)
This mark will be for spelling, grammar, format and organization.
Please use spell- and grammar- checkers that are available in your word-processing program!
Remember that in Biology lab reports, you must not use direct quotations. You must reword any
material you are using in your own words.
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