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New Zealand
Level 6 - NCEA Level 1

Heart Rate (Investigation)



  • To investigate rates in real life.
  • To see the importance of understanding rates.
  • To explore percent change.
  • To practice with direct proportion in real life.


  • Stopwatch
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Internet 


  1. Sit in a relaxed position without crossing any of your limbs.
  2. Take your pulse for $20$20 seconds. To do this you can place your middle and pointer fingers firmly on your neck, wrist, or the inside of your elbow.
  3. Record the pulse you counted when the time is up. 


  1. How many times does your heart beat per minute?
  2. How many times does your heart beat per hour?
  3. How many times does your heart beat per week?
  4. Using this link to lookup factors that may influence the amount of times a person’s heart beats per minute. Based on this do you think your weekly estimate is too high or too low? Why?
  5. What would be a more accurate prediction as to how many times your heart beats a week?


Work with with a friend!

  1. Was their heart beat per minute greater or lower than yours?  
  2. What was their weekly estimate for the amount of times their heart will beat? Compare and contrast how you arrived at your estimates.
  3. A normal person will have a resting heart rate between $60$60 and $100$100 beats per minute. Some people have heart rates that are over $100$100 beats per minute. These people have a condition known as Tachycardia. If you were a doctor and had a patient who had a resting heart rate of $9000$9000 beats per hour would you diagnose them with Tachycardia? Why or why not?
  4. If you declared the person was diagnosed with the condition, by what percent does their heart rate differ from the average  resting heart rate of a healthy person ($80$80 beats per minute)?
  5. Take the average of you and your partner’s heart beats per minute. By what percent does your collective average heart rate differ from the average resting heart rate of a normal healthy person ($80$80 beats per minute)?
  6. Is there a way that you could increase this percent difference from your findings? How?
  7. If your resting heart rate increased by $10%$10% would you still be considered healthy? Explain.



Apply direct and inverse relationships with linear proportions


Apply numeric reasoning in solving problems

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