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MIT HOME LABS: How to become a Sports Scientist

  • 28 February 2022

Monitor your own biometrics, analyze the data, and maybe improve your performance. It’s not as hard as it may seem, with a few simple tools like a watch, a thermometer, or a smartphone. Be creative!

1. Choose a sport that involves physical exercise.

2. Measure one or more of the following ‘body vitals’:

  • body temperature
  • breathing rate
  • heart rate

3. Pick one of the three ‘body vitals’ to measure to begin with. Make sure you have the equipment you need – if you want to track body temperature, make sure you have a thermometer.

4. Before you exercise, record the ‘body vital’ you are measuring. Exercise for 15 minutes, but make sure to take measurements at 5 minute intervals. This should give you 4 data points.

5. Now that you have your initial results, it’s time to slightly adapt the exercise you’re doing. Think how you could make a change – maybe increase the speed or complexity. Measure your ‘body vital’ and then exercise again for 15 minutes and remember to take measurements at 5 minute intervals again.

6. If you would like to take your experiment further, you can try to investigate the other ‘body vitals’. This may include finding your pulse and testing your beats per minute or your breathing rate.

7. You should now have lots of data from your experiment! Use this data to answer the following questions: How did your data change over the 15 minutes of exercise you completed? How did you results differ after you adapted the exercise you were doing? How could you use this data and other experiments to improve your performance?

8. Share the results of your experiment.


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