Changes in Blood Pressure and Heart Rates due to Altitude By: Group 1.2. Juan Pablo Galarza, Matias Castillo, Natalie Menendez and Daniela Roman


-The students of Colegio Menor San Francisco de Quito located in Ecuador, engaged in an academic project to study and analyse the changes of hear rate and blood pressure due to high altitude.

-This project started with research before the trip to Peru in February, to have a basic and important knowledge of heart rates and blood pressure during different activities.

-Throughout data and charts we came to a conclusion that heart rate and blood pressure increase when there is a higher altitude.

-With this ideas in mind, the students learned to comprehend the changes of blood pressure and heart rates.

Background information

-While doing exercise, the heart has a rate that is increasing rapidly. Blood pressure during exercise increases fastly. Since during exercise the body needs cellular respiration in order to give oxygen to all the cells in the body, arteries constrict and the heart pumps more blood to the muscles and lungs making blood pressure increase.

-When laying the body experiences a steady heart rate until it drops almost immediately. The blood pressure does not experience many strong changes when laying down. The blood pressure only drops a little bit when diastolic as well as in systolic.

-When resting, the body experiences a steady heart rate. Blood pressure while resting is normal and steady.

-When standing your heart rate rises as well as your blood pressure. Both of these experience a decrease and then an increase. This is not accounted for because of gravity.

-The effects of high altitude on blood pressure makes the blood pressure increase so that you body will be able to have more oxygen since places with higher altitude have less oxygen than places with more oxygen. Also stress comes into play and makes your blood pressure and breathing rate increase causing you to go into fight or flight. Then your arteries start to constrict to prevent the loss of blood a common effect of fight or flight causing blood pressure to increase.

-Heart rate increases in order deliver oxygen to cells in a more efficient and productive way since there is less oxygen in places with higher altitude.The short term effects in high altitude can be an increase in heart rate and high altitude sickness such as swelling, headaches or nausea. This diseases can be very lethal since they accumulate fluid in brain or lungs. The symptoms can include shortness of breath, hallucination, or rapid heart beat


-We predicted that when lying down, are blood pressure will decrease and our heart rate will decrease as well.

-When standing up immediately after reclining our blood pressure and heart rate will decrease.

-When performing vigorous exercises for five minutes blood pressure will increase and heart rate will increase.

-When performing the same activities in Quito and Cusco blood pressure and heart rate will increases.


-The activities that we conducted and the results proved that most or our hypothesis was correct

-The only hypothesis that was rejected was our prediction while standing, which was about blood pressure and heart rate that would lower, but it actually rose

-This was due to the physical stress after standing up that increased blood pressure and heart rate from preventing your body to collapse

Natural Remedy

-In order to alleviate symptoms from altitude discomfort, humans throughout history have used many natural remedies. A natural remedy that can be helpful for dealing with high altitude sickness can be lavender oil.

Lavender Oil


-Lavender oil has been used to relieve effects caused by altitude, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

-One of the most known reasons for using lavender oil is that it helps people fall asleep easier.

-This remedy can also slow the activity of the nervous system, improve sleep quality, promote relaxation, stable mood, better concentration, and reduced anxiety.

-When there is a lack of oxygen in the air, the body experiences an oxidative response. Lavender oil helps dealing with stress, this means the oil helps your oxidative stress to go down and, in result, lower the heart rate and blood pressure.


-The consumption of lavender oil can also bring side effects such as possible allergic reaction, nausea, vomiting, headache, chills, skin irritation, and the oral use of this oil can cause constipation and be toxic for the body.


Anatomical Adaptations: The body could have certain modifications to adapt to the conditions in hight altitudes.

-Bigger lungs to have a larger air capacity ,and larger nose and mouth so it can inhale and exhale more oxygen. A bigger and thicker neck and trachea in order to improve the amount of air entering the system.

-Reduced size in hands and feet to reduce energy allocated in the cells of these body parts. No toes would save the energy for other body parts. This would lead to a bigger liver and muscle cells in order to store greater amount of energy.

-Larger brain would be adapted do to more oxygen in the body; thus, creating a greater muscle.

Behavioral adaptations: Intentional adaptations in order to live a more comfortable life.

-Wearing warm clothing in order to withstand the cold.

-Natural remedies are a great way to help relieve symptoms provoked by high altitude.


-According to our results, the blood pressure and heart rate increased from Quito to Cusco while practicing different activities

-Based on our results and the altitudes in these different locations, heart rate and blood pressure increase as the altitude increases

-The altitude from Quito to Cusco increased, therefore, the body's heart rate and blood pressure will increase as well

-The altitude from Quito to Cusco increased, therefore, the body's heart rate and blood pressure will increase as well

-This means that altitude can determine how your body functions and adapts to the environment

Works Cited

BBC - Standard Grade Bitesize Biology - Changing levels of performance : Revision, Page 4. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2017, from

Dakota, M. (2015, January 28). Techniques for Running & Breathing in High Altitude. Retrieved March 13, 2017, from

Ehlrich, S. D. (2015, February 1). Lavender. Retrieved March 14, 2017, from

Hornby, M. S. (2010, July 29). The Effects of Tar in Smoking. Retrieved March 13, 2017, from

Human Biological Adaptability: Adapting to High Altitude. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2017, from

Laskowski, E. R. (2015, August 22). Heart rate: What's normal? Retrieved March 13, 2017, from

Marchione, V. (2016, December 15). Blood pressure differences when lying down, standing up, and sitting. Retrieved March 13, 2017, from

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