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Q & A: age resistance

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Hello! My name is Gracia and I am conducting a statistics investigation. I am measuring the electrical resistance of human body by multi-meter and comparing the measurements from intermediate students to senior students. I have found that the senior students (aged 16-18) generally have greater electrical resistance than intermediate students. (aged 12-13) Also, my parent’s electrical registances were also much higher than mine or my brother’s. I was wondering why the human electrical resistance increases as the age increases? I will be so much appreciated if you can answer my question. Thank you!!!
- Gracia (age 18)
Carmel College, New Zealand
A:
Where are you measuring resistance between? Maybe a finger on one hand to a finger on another? Obviously the results depend a lot on what type of measurement you're making, especially since a lot of the resistance often is found near the contact between the probe and the skin. It can depend a lot on how sweaty someone's skin is.

That said, if your results are consistent, I can guess a possible reason. A lot of us (e.g. me) get fat as we get older. Fat is a poor electrical conductor.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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