The definition of Homeostasis is the ability of the body or
cell to seek and maintain a condition of equilibrium within its internal
environment when dealing with external changes (“Homeostasis” 2016). In humans,
homeostasis happens when the body regulates body temperature in an effort to maintain
internal temperature. During exercise the body needs to maintain a constant supply
of oxygen to your cells to support your working muscles, which may need 12 to
25 times more oxygen than they need when latent (Mastrangelo 2013). Exercise
increases the use of energy by your muscles, which activates a series of reactions
to create new energy to keep exercising and maintain homeostasis. The Harder
you exercise, the more energy is used, resulting in the body increasing
breathing rate more to maintain adequate energy levels for balance (Sherwood
2017). The Heart’s main function is to pump blood throughout the body, and is
able to regulate oxygen levels throughout the body, as it moves through the
body it supplies oxygen from the lungs to the cells. When the blood returns to
the heart it releases carbon dioxide for the lungs to exhale (Reichhold 2014). These
procedures prevent homeostatic imbalance when active (Suleman 2015). Negative
feedback occurs when something changes in the body and requires three general
steps. First, through a stimulus the receptor detects changes in the environment.
Next, the receptor sends information to the control centre and lastly, if the
control centre responds it sends a signal to the effector (Seeley 2006). To
maintain balance, your breathing rate must continue to stay at an elevated
level so your lungs can expel the excess carbon dioxide being produced by the
muscle cells during exercise. Once you stop exercising and the cells return to
normal energy needs, less carbon dioxide is created, allowing your breathing
rate to return to normal (Sherwood 2017).
is that exercise will increase perspiration levels and increase heart and
breathing rates, and will reduce after a two-minute resting break while the
body returns to homeostatic conditions.
Method and Materials
The experiment was carried out by a volunteer and an
observer to record the results. The volunteer first completed a pre-exercise
screening questionnaire to detect any health concerns (see Appendix). The questionnaire indicated that there were no health
concerns and the volunteer could safely proceed with the experiment. The
volunteer was female, age 19 with above average fitness ability. The experiment
was completed in a room inside a gym, with no sunlight to affect perspiration
levels, the warmer temperature could affect the levels. The volunteer’s
exercise of choice was to complete continuous jumping jacks. The materials used
in the experiment comprised of a stopwatch (mobile phone application) to record
the time of the exercise and a pen and paper to record the final results. Before
the exercise commenced the first results were recorded. The exercise was
repeated eight times at two minute intervals and rates were recorded for
fifteen seconds. The outcomes of heart and breathing rates were multiplied by
four to reach the results per minute. The volunteer rested for two minutes after
the exercise was completed and results were measured once again to detect the
effect that exercise has on homeostatic conditions in the body.
The volunteer’s heart rate was measured by checking the
pulse over the carotid artery. The breathing rate was measured by observing the
rise and fall of the volunteer’s chest and there was visible sweat on the
volunteer’s body to record perspiration.
Table 1. Effects of
exercise over eight minutes on heart rate, breathing rate and perspiration level.
2 Minute Resting Time
The heart and breathing rate increased progressively and
perspiration level increased at about 4 minutes as shown in Table 1.
‘Figure 1 displays
the heart rate rising throughout the eight minutes of exercise followed by a
decrease after the two minutes of rest. The results demonstrate that during the
first two minutes of exercise the heart rate increased the most.
Figure 1. Heart rate
during eight minutes of exercise followed by two minutes of rest.
After 4 minutes of exercise the breathing rate increased the
most followed by a swift reduction after the two-minute rest period as shown in
Figure 2. Breathing
rate during eight minutes of exercise followed by two minutes of rest.
After four minutes of exercise the perspiration level
increased, as shown in Figure 3, and
then declined after the two-minute resting time.
Figure 3. Perspiration
level during eight minutes of exercise followed by two minutes of rest.
During a bout of exercise, factors such as the exercise
intensity and duration interact to produce the overall homeostatic stress or “training
load” of the session (Mann 2014).
During exercise the heart rate significantly increases, as
shown in Figure 1.
The heart rate, breathing rate and perspiration levels
increased during exercise as hypothesized, demonstrating homeostasis. Perspiration
levels increased over the eight minutes at a steady rate compared to the heart
rate and breathing rate which increased swiftly (see Figures 1, 2 and 3).
The purpose of the research was to investigate how
homeostasis is maintained within the body in the context of heart rate,
breathing rate and perspiration levels during exercise. The breathing rate of
the subject increased in order to raise levels of oxygen and expel more carbon
dioxide. Similarly, the heart rate increases due to the higher demand of oxygen
from muscles. Whilst exercise is being conducted, the body temperature
increases, this is why perspiration increases, cooling the body through
evaporation. This is the result of exercise and the body maintaining
homeostasis. The results mirror the hypothesis, exercise increased the heart
rate, breathing rate and perspiration levels and decrease during the resting
period as the organs throughout the body begin to stabilize.