Design a personal heart monitoring system

Programme the system using the accelerometer and LED display

This is one of a series of resources to support the use of the BBC micro:bit in Design and Technology lessons

There are many reasons to monitor heart rate. For example:

  • There are 2.7 million people in the UK currently suffering from heart problems. The quicker these problems can be found and treated the better the chance of a full recovery.
  • Athletes measure their heart rate during training to ensure that they are training in their optimum physical range.

In this unit, learners will use the BBC micro:bit to develop a prototype for a personal heart monitoring system.

Activity info, teachers' notes and curriculum links

In this activity, learners will develop their programmable system using the BBC micro:bit’s inbuilt accelerometer to detect motion created by the pumping of the heart.

The activity sheet includes teachers' notes, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.


Heart rate monitor - Exploring how the accelerometer function within the BBC micro:bit can be used to measure your heart rate.

Watch at


  • Activity overview - Design a personal heart monitoring system activity description, teachers' notes and curriculum links
  • Presentation - Using an accelerometer and programming the system
  • Handout - Programming the system
  • Hex programming file - Example programming file using the MakeCode editor
  • Py programming file - Example programming file using the Python editor
  • Audio - Connected health - Podcast produced by Fun Kids Radio as part of the Techno Mum series
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