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The Respiratory belt transducer measures changes in thoracic or abdominal

circumference during respiration. It responds linearly to the changes in its length.
These measurements indicate ihalation, expiration, and breathing strength and can
be used to derive breathing rate. It may also be used to characterize breathing


First the respiratory belt was fastened around the upper abdomen of the volunteer,
with the transducer at the front of the body, in level with the navel.
For the exercise on normal breathing the recording was started and the volunteer
was asked to breathe rapidly for a few seconds, and then switched to breathing
slowly. Baseline 1 was entered as a comment. 2-3 minutes of normal quiet breathing
was recorded. Then the comment inhale, hold was entered and the volunteer was
asked to take in a deep breath and hold in it as long as possible. The comment
breathe was entered when the volunteer began to breathe again. The recording
was continued until the baseline pattern resumed.

For the experiment on hyperventilation, the volunteer was again asked to breathe
normally for 2-3 minutes. The comment hyperventilation was entered, then the
volunteer was asked to breathe as quickly and as deeply as possible for 30 seconds,
and then the comment breathe was entered. The volunteer was then asked again
to inhale and hold and that was recorded as well.

Analysis was to be done by opening the results in LabChart Reader. Analysis is done
by dragging the marker to the large peak following the comment inhale and hold
and moving the cursor to the start of first breath afterwards and recording the
rate/time displayed. The same will be done for all the other comments like exhale
and hold and hyperventilate.

For discussion

The rhythmic contraction of the diaphragm, a dome shaped sheet of muscle that
separates the thoraxic from the abdomen is the primary muscle activity in quiet
breathing. Inhalation occurs when the diaphragm is contracted and pulls down the
lower surface of the lungs. Intercostal muscles are also responsible for the rib
movements, however only in small amplitude.

When breathing is forced, like in hyperventilation, the rib movements become

obvious and the volume encase by the rib cage greatly contracts and expands.
The sternomastoid muscle in the neck starts to assist in raising the sternum and the
abdominal muscles increase the pressure in the abdomen to push the diaphragm
up, to provide a powerful expiratory force. When breathing is done rapidly, the chest
contraction and rib movements increase in speed as well.

Breathing movements are unusual due to the fact that they are under the control of
the central nervous system. It may be done voluntarily, however when no conscious
attention is focused on breathing, the rhythmic muscle contractions will still occur
This is controlled by the respiratory center in the medulla of the brain, which
ensures that gas exchange at the lung matched the requirements of the body.

When the demand for gas exchange is increased, the rate and depth of breathing is
also increase to bring in more air into the lungs.

The heart rate and breathing rate are connected. Because the more the heart beats,
the more breathing occurs. As the heart beats faster, it uses more energy and sends
more oxygen throughout the body.

During exercise oxygen is used very quickly in order to provide the muscles with
much needed energy to move. Thus the increase in speed of heart beats occurs to
pump more oxygen to the muscles. In order to compensate for the amplified
demand for oxygen, signals are sent to the lungs and diaphragm from the brain to
inhale and exhale oxygen with a greater frequency, thus increasing the oxygen
inside the body. If a person exercising ever feels a burning sensation, it means that
the body is not getting enough oxygen and has switched to anaerobic respiration at
that muscle. This leads to the production of lactic acid causing soreness and fatigue.