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Vital statistics

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Pulse rate

A normal pulse rate for a healthy adult, while resting, can range from 60 to 100 beats per minute (BPM), although well-conditioned athletes may have a healthy pulse rate lower than 60 BPM. During sleep, the pulse can drop to as low as 40 BPM; during strenuous exercise, it can rise as high as 150–200 BPM. Generally, pulse rates are higher in infants and young children. The resting heart rate for an infant is usually close to an adult's pulse rate during strenuous exercise (average 110 BPM for an infant). To obtain a reasonably accurate resting pulse rate, make sure the person is calm and has been resting for 5 minutes before reading the pulse. Bear in mind that any stimulants, taken prior to the reading will affect the rate (such as caffeine or nicotine).

Blood pressure

Blood pressure (BP) is the pressure (force per unit area) exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels, and constitutes one of the principal vital signs. For each heartbeat, blood pressure varies between systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic pressure is peak pressure in the arteries, which occurs near the beginning of the cardiac cycle when the ventricles are contracting. Diastolic pressure is minimum pressure in the arteries, which occurs near the end of the cardiac cycle when the ventricles are filled with blood. An example of normal measured values for a resting, healthy adult human is 115 mmHg systolic and 75 mmHg diastolic (written as 115/75 mmHg, and spoken (in the US) as "one fifteen over seventy-five"). Pulse pressure is the difference between systolic and diastolic pressures.

How to lower your blood pressure

Body temperature

Recent studies suggest that the average temperature for healthy adults is 98.2 °F or 36.8 °C.

Body Mass Index

The healthy weight range widely used by doctors is based on a measurement known as the body mass index (BMI).

Recommended BMI Chart
Underweight BMI less than 18.5
Ideal BMI 18.5-25
Overweight BMI 25-30
Obese - should lose weight BMI 30-40
Very obese - lose weight now BMI greater than 40

Bmi chart 416x330.jpg

The BBC calculator and Nhi calculator can be used to check your own BMI.

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