Copeland Creek Exercise Project

students working a garden bed to grow native riparian plantsstudents hand mowing grasslandstudent team mowing grass

Project Description: Physical activity is a significant part of watershed restoration. Volunteer work crews clean up refuse, maintain paths, plant natives, and remove invasive species. These activities can potentially benefit the health of the participants. This project examines the effects of self-paced restoration activities on heart rate and metabolism. We explore the importance of the type and duration of activity. Often gym sessions or other traditional forms of activity last 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, but every day activities like gardening can be an all day event.

Duration: Spring 2013 - ongoing

Type of Educational Activities: Service-learning

Project Faculty: Bulent Sokmen (Kinesiology)

Partners: Sonoma County Water Agency, City of Rohnert Park (Susan Haydon), SSU Preserves (Suzanne DeCoursey)

Participating Courses: Physiology of Exercise (KIN 360)

Location: This class project is conducted at Sonoma State University’s garden, Copeland Creek, and SSU's Fairfield Osborn Preserve.

Activities: Class participants performed various self-paced gardening-related activities, varying in physical activity intensities. Resting HR were recorded prior to the activity to get baseline values. Participants wore wore Polar HR monitors during the class activity. Each subject worked at their comfortable pace and recorded their HR responses every 10 min for 60 min. Average HR responses were calculated using the Karvonen Method.

Participants: Students in KIN 101 and SSU Preserves Grassland Management Training (11 women & 10 men) (20.1±1.78 years; 69.7±9.3 kg; 171.8±5.2 cm) volunteered for this class project.

Measurements are conducted by SSU students under the guidance of Dr. Bulent Sokmen.

Data: (see data disclaimer)


Scientific Literature:

  • Fisher SL, Watts PB, Jensen RL, Nelson J. Energy expenditure, heart rate response, and metabolic equivalents (METs) of adults taking part in children's games. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2004 Dec;44(4):398-403.
  • Hilloskorpi HK, Pasanen ME, Folgelholm MG, Laukkanen RM, Manttari AT. Use of heart rate to predict energy expenditure from low to high activity levels. Int J Sports Med. 2003 Jul;24(5):332-6.