Physical Exertion Related to Walking on Level Term Paper

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¶ … Physical Exertion Related to Walking on Level and Inclined Planes

An Analysis of Relative Physical Intensity Rates Related to Stride Requirements for Level and Inclined Planes as Measured by a Pedometer

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Developing the skills needed to graphically interpret statistical data is not all that difficult; researchers can even use simple tools to help develop insightful analyses concerning a wide range of activities that involve walking. For example, although pedometers are simply "devices, often worn on the belt and kept on all day, usually portable and electronic, which count each step a person makes" (Pedometer 1), a reasonable estimate of the relative physical intensity required to walk a given number of steps in a set amount of time on level vs. inclined surfaces can be discerned by using such a device. Early, mechanical pedometers used a swinging lever arm to count steps. According to Cuddihy, Pangrazi and Tomson (2005), "Today's electronic pedometers count steps by tallying vertical motions at the hip. Small and unobtrusive, pedometers can be easily fastened to a belt or waistband. In their most basic form, pedometers measure the number of steps a person takes" (36). These authors point out that simply counting an individual's steps during a given period of time is an effective way active levels, despite the fact that pedometers cannot measure all types of activity. For instance, because pedometers are not waterproof, they cannot be used to measure swimming activity; likewise, pedometers do not provide accurate measurements on wheeled activities such as bicycling, skateboarding, and rollerblading (Cuddihy et al. 36). More expensive pedometers allow users to estimate calories burned based on body weight; however, these calorie estimates are not particularly accurate, given the wide variation of fitness levels and personal physiology of individuals (America's Walking 2).

Term Paper on Physical Exertion Related to Walking on Level Assignment

Therefore, for the purposes of this study, an inexpensive pedometer that measures steps only represents an excellent choice as a research tool: "Since people generally accumulate activity on land, pedometers are one of the best means of measurement, and their use for measuring the physical activity levels of youths is widely accepted by researchers and practitioners" (Cuddihy et al. 36). Furthermore, a pedometer has several advantages over other comparable tools commonly used to measure physical intensity levels, particularly in academic settings. For example, pedometers just need to be attached to a waistband or belt to achieve accurate readings; by contrast, with a heart rate monitor, the researcher has to attach electrode snips to the skin that must remain wet to ensure good electrical contact. Further, pedometers do not require regular cleaning and the average price for a pedometer ($15) is much less than the average price for a heart rate monitor ($50) (Beighle, Morgan & Pangrazi 34).

In this study, a quality pedometer, an accurate stopwatch and a clipboard and pen are the primary tools used for data collection in the field (more expensive digital pedometers have a stopwatch feature, obviating this requirement); the statistical data that results from the study can be analyzed using Excel or SPSS, or other comparable statistical analyses applications. The procedure for performing this type of analysis is described further below.

B. Procedure.

The procedure for this study consists of three walking experiments on 1) an inclined plane (a sidewalk situated on a mild 15-degree hill) and 2) a level plane (a level sidewalk). The researcher sets the pedometer on zero and begins walking on each type of surface and stops when the pedometer reaches 500 steps. The stopwatch is stopped at this point and the time required to take this many steps recorded on a worksheet (a sample copy of such a worksheet is attached at Appendix A).

The researcher performs these walks on six consecutive days at the same time each day (this approach is to ensure that the walker is "fresh" and in comparable physical condition for each walk; in the event of inclement weather such as rain, snow or other elements that would impede the experiment, the walk should be postponed to another day with similar weather as the other walks). Further, attacks by stray dogs, interference by bystanders or other pedestrians or acts of God will invalidate any given walk which would then have to be repeated to ensure the reliability of the results.

Finally, it is the hypothesis of this experiment that a researcher will require more time to complete 500 steps walking uphill than walking on a similar surface that is level.

C. Results.

The results of the three walking experiments on the level sidewalk and the 15-degree hill and then compared using a chi-square analysis. An analysis of the averages and standard deviations is an appropriate analytical technique for this experiment because it provides a researcher with a useful test as to whether frequencies of the phenomena observed match the frequencies that might be expected to occur by chance (Jensen 232). All times are converted from minutes and seconds recorded on the field worksheet into total seconds required for each walk for use with the statistical analysis program for ease of comparison.

The results of the three walking field experiments on the 15-degree hill and the level sidewalk are shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1. Results of Three Walking Field Experiments: 15-deg. hill vs. level sidewalk.

15-degree hill

Time (Min/Sec)

Level sidewalk

Time (Min/Sec)

Walk No. 1 min/12 sec

58 sec

Walk No. 2 min/15 sec min/3 sec

Walk No. 3 min/10 sec

59 sec

The total seconds and averages for each walk are shown in Table 2 and Figure 1 below.

Table 2. Total Seconds and Average Time Required for Each Walk.

15-deg hill level sidewalk

Total Seconds

Walk No. 1

Walk No. 2

Walk No. 3

Average Time Required

Figure 1. Total Seconds and Average Time Required for Each Walk.

The total seconds required for each walk and their respective standard deviations for the totals are provided in Table 3 and Figure 2 below.

Table 3. Total Seconds and Standard Deviation for Totals of Each Walk.

15-deg hill level sidewalk

Total Seconds

Walk No. 1

Walk No. 2

Walk No. 3

Standard Deviation

Figure 2. Total Seconds and Standard Deviation for Totals of Each Walk.

D. Conclusion.

Although there were no earth-shattering findings as the result of this simple experiment, the results of the study did confirm the hypothesis that walking uphill would require longer, and therefore more physical intensity of movement, than walking on a similar surface that was level. Further, the preparation of the instrumentation, the development of the procedures and the execution of the steps involved were enlightening from both a research methodology perspective as well as in terms of improving physical fitness. All in all, this is a good way to introduce researchers to the steps involved in developing a simple experiment and presenting the findings in an interesting fashion to a wide range of audiences.

Works Cited

America's Walking."

2005). PBS.org. [Online]. Available: http://www.pbs.org/americaswalking/gear/gearpedometers.html.

Beighle, Aaron, Charles F. Morgan, Jr., and Robert P. Pangrazi. (2003). "Using Pedometers to Promote Physical Activity in Physical Education." JOPERD -- The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance 74(7):33.

Cuddihy, Thomas F., Robert P. Pangrazi and Lois M. Tomson. (2005). "Pedometers: Answers to FAQs from Teachers; Pedometers Offer an Attractive Means for Student Motivation and Program Accountability, but as with Any Innovation, Questions Abound." JOPERD --The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance 76(2):36.

Jensen, Klaus Bruhn. A Handbook of Media and Communication Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies. London: Routledge, 2002.

Pedometer." (2005). In Wikipedia. [Online]. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedometer.

Appendix A

Sample Worksheet for Field Data Collection

15-degree hill

Time (Min/Sec)

Level sidewalk

Time (Min/Sec)

Walk No. 1

Walk No. 2

Walk No. 3

An Analysis of Relative Physical Intensity Rates Related to Stride Requirements for Level and Inclined Planes as Measured by a Digital Pedometer

Introduction pedometer can be used to help introduce the concepts involved and the steps required to conduct simple experiments and statistical analysis.

Pedometers are devices worn on the belt or otherwise attached to a person's clothing that count the number of steps taken.

Pedometers have several advantages for this type of research, including inexpensiveness, ease of use and noninvasiveness.

A reasonable estimate of the relative physical intensity required to walk a given number of steps in a set amount of time on level vs. inclined surfaces can be discerned by using such a device.

This study used a quality pedometer, an accurate stopwatch and a clipboard and pen to capture data in the field (more expensive digital pedometers have a stopwatch feature, obviating this requirement)

The statistical data that resulted from the study was analyzed using Excel.

Procedure researcher takes three walks on 1) an inclined plane (a sidewalk situated on a mild 15-degree hill) and 2) a level plane (a level sidewalk).

The researcher sets the pedometer on zero and begins walking on each type of surface and stops when the pedometer reaches 500 steps. The stopwatch is stopped at this point and the time required to take this many steps recorded on… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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