Author Ольга Кияница


Among all the biological markers of a person's state, the pulse is of paramount importance. His first task is determined by a person who has lost consciousness, also must be taken into account when investigating the activity of the heart. There are age-old pulse rates, in addition there are features of pulse characteristics in pregnant women and athletes.

The pulse is a medical indicator of the category of tactile arterial palpation of the palpitation, usually with the tips of the fingers. The pulse can be palpated in any place where the artery passes near the surface of the body and can be pressed to feel the vibration of the vessel.Most often, the pulse is determined on the neck (carotid artery), the wrist (radial artery), the groin (femoral artery), the knee (popliteal artery), near the ankle joint (the posterior tibia artery) and on the sole (dorsal artery).

Pulse is the amount of arterial pulses per minute equivalent to measuring heart rate. The latter figure can also be measured by listening to cardiac activity during auscultation and counting beats per minute. For this purpose, a stethoscope is traditionally used.

By the amount of pulse, you can immediately determine whether the heart beats normally or there is tachycardia / bradycardia. The termination of cardiac activity is immediately detected by pulse, which is completely absent in the main measurement areas. The uneven pulse is also a sign of certain diseases, so it's important for everyone to know when they say the norm, and when it's a pathology.

Video: Which pulse rate is considered normal?


In 1626, the Venetian doctor Santorio Santorio published details of his pulsigloma - stop-watches that could accurately measure the pulse rate. He applied the ideas of Galileo Galilei that the oscillation frequency of the pendulum is inversely proportional to the square root of its length. [1 - Measure of the Heart: Santorio Santorio and the Pulsilogium, Richard de Grijs, Daniel Vuillermin, 17 February 2017] Extensive experiments with his new instrument allowed Santorio to get a circadian rhythm (24-hour cycle) of cardiac activity. A century later, another doctor, Lacroix, used pulsations to test the cardiac function.

What is heart rhythm?

Heart rate is the amount of heart rate per minute. To measure your heart rate, it's enough to feel the pulse - the rhythmic expansion and contraction (or pulsation) of the artery, since blood flows through it through regular contractions of the heart muscle. Therefore, this indicator indicates how much the human heart works.

Pulse measurement

No special equipment is required to measure the pulse, but a second hand watch or a digital timer will be required.

  1. The hand (for the left-hander is more convenient) you need to turn the palm up.
  2. The index and middle fingers of the opposite hand are located on the wrist, about 2-3 cm below the base of the arm.
  3. The fingers are pressed into the vessel, most often located between the tendons and the outer bone. If the pulsation is felt at the same time, this is the pulse.
  4. The number of strokes must be counted for 10 seconds, then multiply this number by 6. This will determine the amount of pulse in a minute.


If it was possible to calculate 12 beats in 10 seconds, then multiplying 12 X 6 turns 72. This means that the pulse is 72 beats per minute.


Another popular way of measuring pulse rate is to calculate it on the neck (carotid pulse). This is especially convenient during the workout. The formula is the same as above, however, when determining the pulse on the neck, you need to carefully place your fingertips on one side of the neck, below the jaw and half the distance between the major muscles of the neck and trachea.

Determining the pulse when lifting in the morning or after sitting without activity for about 10 minutes, you can learn about the state of the pulse during rest.

Video: Pulse rate is in a state of rest

Normal pulse

The heart rate anywhere in the range of 60 - 90 is considered as a variant of the norm. The heart rate depends heavily on such factors as the level of physical activity and the presence of a stress factor. If, however, the pulse is constantly higher than normal, you should consult a doctor. This condition is called tachycardia (increased heart rate).

Many athletes have a pulse rate in the range of 40-60, depending on how much they are trained. In general, lower pulse rates are better than high, as the risk of stroke and myocardial infarction decreases. Sometimes, however, the heart rate can be too low. This pathology is known as bradycardia and can be dangerous, especially when arterial pressure becomes too low. Symptoms include weakness, loss of energy and fainting. If this condition is observed, you should immediately contact a doctor.

If the heartbeat is irregular (that is, there are marked missed strokes), then you need to count pulse pulses for an entire minute. If pulse disorder persists, then you should consult with the attending physician.

Pulse rate depending on age:

  • in newborns (up to 3 months) - 99-149 beats / min;
  • pups from 3 to 6 months - 89-119 beats / min;
  • chestnuts from 6 to 12 months - 79-119 beats / min;
  • children from 1 year to 10 years old - 69-129 beats per minute;
  • children over 10 years old and adults - 59-99 beats / min;
  • athletes - 39-59 beats / min;
  • pregnant women - in the third trimester can reach 110-115.

Many factors affect the frequency of heart rate. These include emotions, temperature, and body position (sitting, standing, halftone) and body weight (if there is overweight, then the heart has to work more to guide the blood to all organs). Therefore, if you are suspected of having a broken pulse with a disease, you should contact your doctor.

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