Cardiac Hill

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In this outdoor activity linking human health to the environment, learners use their pulse rates as a measure of the effort expended in walking on different slopes. By checking their pulse rates after walking up various slopes, the group decides on an appropriate maximum slope for trails. In the process, learners practice their data collection and graphing skills.

Quick Guide

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Field Trip


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 watch with a second hand
  • 1 slope-measuring device (see the "Measuring Slope" Equipment Card)
  • 1 data board or large drawing pad (with at least three sheets of paper)
  • 1 marking pen
  • 1 5- or 10-meter length of cord or twine
  • 6 or 8 flags (cloth or plastic flagging tied to sticks)
  • index cards
  • pencils


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • The Scientific Worldview
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity
  • Sports and Exercise


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Regents of the University of California, 1982