How your Heart Works at 200mph

How does the human heart react to the most extreme forms of stress?

Through the use of sports science technology, three varying riders at the International North West 200 motorbike festival placed this question to test. The competitors were fitted with a heart strap and a wireless sensor in order to measure their heart rate over every inch of the course.

Dr Sean Roe, from the Centre for Biomedical Science Education at Queen’s University Belfast, explained what causes heart stress and some of the factors that may affect the results.

“The heart is controlled largely by two centres in the brain,” said Dr Roe. “The sympathetic ‘fight or flight’ response or the parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ response.

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