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Harthill Primary School

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What sport makes you sweat the most? 


Background science

All animals need to maintain a contant internal environment  - we call it homeostasis. Mammals need to regulate their body temperature and have ways to cool themselves. Only primates, apes and horses sweat in a similar way to humans though. Our optimum body temperature is around 37ºC so when our body temperature rises above this, our brains don't like it - the brain wants your body to stay cool and comfortable – so we sweat.

Physical activity is one of the things that causes body temperature to rise; the greater the level of activity, the more we sweat. The part of the brain that controls temperature is called the hypothalamus, and it sends a message to your body, telling it to sweat. Sweat is produced in the sweat glands and is made almost completely from water (with small amounts of other chemicals like ammonia, urea, salts, and sugar). The sweat leaves your skin through tiny holes called pores. When the sweat hits the air, the air makes it evaporate. As the sweat evaporates off your skin, you cool down.

In addition to the type of movements required in different sports, pupils might want to consider the environment in which the different sports are taking place; e.g. country, time of day/year, indoors/outdoors. They might also need to think about the sort of clothing and equipment used in each sport.



The task 

Plan an investigation to find out which sport/activity makes you sweat the most.


Think about

How you will measure how much you have sweated? (Will you take photos to compare how sweaty your face was? Will you take your temperature with the assumption that if you had a higher temperature, you sweated more?)

How you will record results. 

How you will make the different activities comparable. Will you do each for the same time? Will you do them on different days so you are well rested between? 


THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE A FAIR TEST. YOU CANNOT CONTROL MOST OF THE VARIABLES IN THIS INVESTIGATION. YOU JUST NEED TO DO WHAT YOU CAN SO THE RESULTS ARE COMPARABLE. EG. If you did one sport after the other, you will be more tired towards the end so your results could be affected. You can counter this by resting well between activities.