Normal heartbeat: basic indicators

Author Ольга Кияница


The frequency and regularity of the heartbeat is an important sign of the state of human health. The rhythm should be constant, without interruptions and pauses. Heart rate (heart rate) is determined during a minute at rest after a 10 - 15-minute rest. It changes with physical activity, fear, emotional reactions.

Heart rate in humans: the norm and the deviation

Although the normal heart rate is not a guarantee of heart health, it is still a useful guide for detecting a number of disorders in the body.

The main indicator of heart rate is heart rate, that is, the number of cardiac contractions per minute. At rest it is 60 - 100 / min. However, some researchers believe that this standard is obsolete, and in a calm state, the heart rate should be between 50 and 75 per minute. There is a connection between the increase in heart rate more than 75 per minute during rest and the increased risk of heart attack.


Normal for each person heart rate depends on his age, physical condition, heredity, lifestyle, level of activity and emotional experiences. It is also affected by the temperature and position of the body.

With a higher physical endurance of a person, his pulse is at rest lower. Therefore, heart rate is one of the indicators for assessing individual fitness.

Video: Which pulse is normal and which is dangerous for health?

The heart rate changes during the day and in different situations. Therefore, their deviations from the average statistical indicators, conditionally accepted for the boundaries of the norm, are not always associated with some kind of disease. It is worth worrying about this if the pulse is constantly slowed, accelerated, or the heart beats irregularly.

What are the indices of the normal pulse in an adult?

In a healthy adult male, the normal heart rate at rest is 70 / min, for a woman - 75 / min. Taking into account individual changes for adults, the pulse from 60 to 80 per minute is considered optimal.

During ECG registration, with which the doctor objectively assesses the frequency and rhythm of the heartbeat, a person moves, undresses, lies on the couch, experiences excitement in an unfamiliar situation. Therefore, the upper limit of the norm of heart rate is 100 / min.

Although the range of normal heart rate is quite wide, too high or low heart rate may be a sign of pathology. If it exceeds 100 / min (tachycardia) or less than 60 / min (bradycardia), it is necessary to consult a therapist or cardiologist, especially if there are other symptoms, such as fainting, dizziness, or dyspnea.

What are the norms and deviations for children

The normal heartbeat in a child depends on his age. For example, for newborns, the heart rate is 100-160 / min, for children under 10 years old - from 70 to 120 / min, for teenagers over 10-12 years - from 60 to 100 per minute.

For children, sinus arrhythmia is characteristic and completely normal. This irregularity of the heart rhythm, caused by wave-like acceleration and slowing of the heartbeat. When identifying such changes on the ECG in a child or adolescent, there is no cause for concern.

Doctors are guided by such normal parameters of palpitation in children:


Average heart rate, beats / min

Limits of the norm, bpm



110 - 170

1 month


100 - 170

1 year


95 - 160

2 years


90 - 150

34 years


85 - 130

5 - 6 years


75 - 125

7 - 8 years


70 - 115

9 - 10 years


65 - 110

11 - 12 years


60 - 105

13 - 15 years


55 - 100

Tachycardia in children is more often caused by functional causes - crying, fear, cooling of the body. The most dangerous is a significant slowing of the heartbeat in a small one. It can be a sign of serious rhythm disturbances, for example, congenital atrioventricular blockade of II or III degree.

In adolescents, moderate bradycardia can occur as a result of intense sports training.

Normal heart rate in women and men by age

With independent measurement or ECG data, there is no significant difference in heart rate in men and women. With age, there is a gradual decrease in the average heart rate, but there can also be significant individual fluctuations.

More accurate estimate of heart rate can be based on daily monitoring of ECG. In conclusion of this study, the average heart rate per day, minimum and maximum heart rate, day and night, must be indicated.

To assess these indicators, regulations have been developed that allow the doctor to more accurately determine whether the heartbeat corresponds to the age and sex of a person.

Age, years


Average heart rate in daytime, bpm

Mean heart rate at night, bpm

20 - 30

M / F



30 - 40

M / F



40 - 50

M / F



50 - 60

M / F



60 and over

M / F



Sinus arrhythmia is acceptable, especially at night, but pauses should not exceed 2 seconds. A small number of extraordinary heartbeats (extrasystoles) is also the norm for a healthy person.

What can change the pulse?

Slow down, speed up the heartbeat or cause irregularity may be the physiological causes or diseases of various organs, including the heart.

Slowing of the heartbeat (bradycardia) is normal and does not harm the human body in such cases:

  • increased humidity of the environment, moderate cooling of the body;
  • good physical fitness;
  • state of sleep;
  • taking certain medications, for example, sedatives or beta-blockers.

Diseases accompanied by a slow heartbeat:

  • IHD and other heart diseases, primarily syndrome of weakness of the sinus node;
  • overdose of antiarrhythmic drugs, in particular, cardiac glycosides;
  • lead poisoning, FOS, nicotine;
  • Stomach ulcer, craniocerebral trauma, stroke, brain tumor, increased intracranial pressure;
  • hypothyroidism (reduced hormonal activity of the thyroid gland).

The physiological (natural) increase in heart rate is possible in such situations:

  • physical stress and stress;
  • fever;
  • high ambient temperature;
  • stay at altitude;
  • pregnancy;
  • use of caffeine-containing beverages.

The main causes of pathological accelerated heart rate (tachycardia):

  • diseases of the nervous system (neurosis, autonomic disorders);
  • hyperthyroidism;
  • anemia;
  • heart failure;
  • chronic lung diseases;
  • heart diseases - IHD, myocarditis, some valvular defects.

How to measure the pulse on your own?

The easiest way to determine the pulse on the carotid and radial arteries.

Self-calculation of the pulse on the carotid artery is as follows: the index and middle fingers are located horizontally under the lower jaw on the anterolateral surface of the neck. The place where the pulse is best palpated is determined.Independently such a method is better not to use. In this zone there are reflexogenic areas, the stimulation of which can cause disturbances in the heart rhythm.

To determine the pulse on the radial artery, you must put the index and middle fingers in the wrist area. The pulse is felt in the area below the thumb.


It is necessary to count the number of strokes in 15 seconds and multiply the result by 4 to determine the heart rate per minute.

There are special devices that help a person to determine their pulse. These are fitness trackers, as well as applications for smartphones. They are convenient for athletes and busy people. The heart rate, including its regularity, is determined by many automatic blood pressure monitors, which are used to measure pressure at home.

What deviations from the norm are considered dangerous?

When determining the heart rate, it is important to consider not only the heart rate, but also the rhythm of the heartbeats.The heart should beat without pauses and interruptions, however single rare extra blows are not cause for concern.

It is necessary to consult a doctor in such cases:

  • irregular heart rhythm;
  • slow heart rate less than 50 / min or acceleration more than 100 / min;
  • Attacks of accelerated heart rate with heart rate more than 140 / min.

These signs can accompany such dangerous conditions:

  • atrial fibrillation;
  • paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia;
  • frequent ventricular extrasystole and paroxysms of ventricular tachycardia;
  • syndrome of weakness of the sinus node;
  • sinoatrial or atrioventricular blockade II - III degree.

What diseases can be determined by measuring the pulse?

The heart rate changes due to the following reasons:

  • violation of the regulation of cardiac activity;
  • deterioration of gas exchange in the lungs;
  • reduction of oxygen in the blood;
  • weakening of myocardial contractility;
  • pathological processes in the heart.

Therefore, if the heart rate deviates from normal or irregular heartbeat, we can assume various diseases of the cardiovascular and other systems. The most frequent of them are:

  • dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, or NDC;
  • organic brain damage, such as hemorrhage or swelling;
  • chronic bronchitis, obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, respiratory failure;
  • iron deficiency and other forms of anemia;
  • hypo- and hyperthyroidism;
  • heart failure, which is a complication of many heart diseases and hypertension;
  • mitral stenosis, which in severe cases is often complicated by atrial fibrillation;
  • IHD, including its chronic forms (angina pectoris, postinfarction cardiosclerosis, atrial fibrillation);
  • syndrome of weakness of the sinus node;
  • Myocarditis, endocarditis, myocardial dystrophy, cardiomyopathy.

At constant deviations of the heart rate from the norm, it is recommended to consult the therapist first. The doctor will conduct an initial examination, which will help to suspect the cause of the violations, and then send to a specialized specialist - cardiologist, pulmonologist, endocrinologist, neurologist or hematologist.

Forecasts and prevention

The prognosis of heart rhythm disturbances depends on their cause:

  • Physiological abnormalities are not dangerous and do not require treatment;
  • with proper treatment of diseases of the endocrine system, lungs and other organs that caused a violation of the heartbeat, eventually the pulse returns to normal;
  • in heart disease, the prognosis depends on the severity of the underlying disease, in some cases, normal heartbeat can be restored only by surgery or by installing a pacemaker.

Normal heartbeat provides good blood supply to the brain and other organs. To prevent violations of it, the following methods are recommended:

  • regular exercise for 30 minutes daily 5 days a week;
  • the ability to manage themselves in a stressful situation, the development of respiratory gymnastics, yoga;
  • to give up smoking;
  • weight normalization;
  • the use of a sufficient amount of liquid, especially during the hot season;
  • sufficient rest, a full night's sleep.

Of the physical exercises to maintain a normal heartbeat, aerobic workouts, running, swimming and cycling are best suited.


The heart rate is individual for each person. They vary depending on its activity, time of day, under the influence of physiological causes. It is believed that the norm limits for an adult at rest are 60 and 100 beats per minute. In this case, the pulse should be regular, a small arrhythmia and single extraordinary cuts (extrasystoles) are acceptable.

In children, heart rate is higher than in adults. The CG of the elderly has a tendency to slow the average heart rate.

Various disorders of the nervous, endocrine, respiratory, cardiovascular systems and blood can cause disturbances in normal indices. Therefore, if abnormalities are found, it is necessary to consult a therapist.

Determine the heart rate can be using ECG, daily monitoring of the ECG, as well as by independent measurement of the pulse on the radial artery.

Maintaining a healthy heart rate will help a healthy lifestyle and regular physical training.

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