What Is a Good Resting Heart Rate by Age?

Reviewed on 3/19/2021
Normal resting heart rate (RHR) values can range from anywhere between 60-100 beats per minute (bpm).
Normal resting heart rate (RHR) values can range from anywhere between 60-100 beats per minute (bpm).

Normal resting heart rate (RHR) values can range from anywhere between 60-100 beats per minute (bpm). As cardiovascular fitness increases, the resting heart rate value decreases. Resting heart rate is the number of beats per minute the heart takes while a person is fully rested. It is an indicator of both fitness and general health.

The below tables provide appropriate charts for RHR as per age and sex.

Table 1. Resting heart rate values for men

Resting heart rate values for men (beats per minute)
 

Age (in years)

 

18-25 

 

26-35


36-45


46-55


56-65


65+

 

Athlete

 

40-52 

 

44-50

 

47-53

 

49-54

 

51-56

 

52-55

 

Excellent

 

56-61 


55-61


57-62

 

58-63

 

57-61


56-61

 

Good

 

62-65 

 

62-65

 

63-66

 

64-67

 

62-67

 

62-65

 

Above Average

 

66-69 

 

66-70

 

67-70

 

68-71

 

68-71

 

66-69

 

Average

 

70-73 

 

71-74

 

71-75

 

72-76

 

72-75

 

70-73

 

Below Average

 

74-81 

 

75-81


76-82


77-83


76-81


74-79

 

Poor

 

82+

 

82+

 

83+


84+


82+


80+

What are the factors that may affect resting heart rate?

Several factors may affect resting heart rate:

  • Age: RHR can change with age, according to some studies.
  • Gender: On average, women's RHR tends to be 2-7 bpm higher than men’s.
  • Air temperature: RHR can increase during hot weather, but usually not more than 10 bpm.
  • Emotions: Strong feelings of stress, anxiety, or even happiness can raise the RHR.
  • Body position: RHR can be 3 bpm higher when sitting versus lying down. Similarly, RHR tends to increase a bit upon standing.
  • MedicationPrescription drugs, such as antidepressants and beta-blockers, can cause the RHR to be lower than it would without the medication.
  • Meditation: Yoga and pranayama if done regularly can cause reduced resting heart rate.

What can resting heart rate readings indicate?

Resting heart rate is an indicator of fitness and general health. They are:

  • In adults, a lower heart rate is correlated with a higher degree of fitness and a lower incidence of cardiac events, such as heart attacks.
  • Highly trained athletes can have an RHR as low as 40. This may be because the lower rate translates to a heart muscle that is stronger and can pump blood more efficiently. Another explanation is that with vigorous exercise, there is the release of nitrous oxide in the heart’s blood vessels, which increases the blood supply to the heart.
  • However, a consistently higher heart rate has been associated with cardiovascular issues and premature death.
  • A 2013 research that studied 3000 men for 16 years found that men with RHR greater than 90 were associated with triple the risk of death when compared to men with RHR below 80.
  • An observational study conducted in Norway that looked at 20,000 participants found similar results, even when controlled for factors, such as body mass index (BMI) and life.

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References
Health Direct. Resting Heart Rate. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/resting-heart-rate

https://www.copcp.com/Media/4d1e1fcf-c49e-4de2-a7a5-325f96175ded.pdf

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