What Is Target Heart Rate?
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Target Heart Rate - Range, Influencing Factors, and Abnormalities

Published on Jan 02, 2023   -  5 min read


The standard contractions of the heart in sixty seconds in adults range from seventy to a hundred beats. This article is an overview of the target heart rate.


Heart rate is the speed by which the human heart normally beats. This is measured by the number of contractions of the heart’s structure in one minute or every sixty seconds. It should be noted that a heart rate that falls slightly in the lower range during rest indicates a more sound and efficient functioning of the heart and a healthy cardiovascular system. The pulse can be checked in order to measure the heart rate. There are several manners in which the pulse can be read. One of the most common ways is to place the index and the third finger on the side of one’s neck or to the side of the windpipe. In addition to this, the pulse may also be checked at the wrist joint by placing two fingers between the radial bone or the bone on the thumb side of the wrist. The beats are then counted twice at an interval of fifteen seconds.

What Are the Factors That Influence the Target Heart Rate?

A person’s heart rate is not the same in every age group. Different age groups have different heart rates. Also, the heart rate of individuals who fall in the same age group also has many variations. This is purely on a physiological basis. There are a few heart rate abnormalities that are generally found in individuals with an underlying cardiovascular condition. For example, tachycardia is the condition of an increased heart rate, whereas bradycardia is the condition of an abnormally low heart rate. Both conditions show clinical manifestations of fainting, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Numerous factors influence the target heart rate.

A few of them are mentioned below.

  • Age.

  • Diet.

  • Stress.

  • Geographical atmosphere and location.

  • Fitness level.

  • Physical activeness.

  • Smoking.

  • Presence of cardiovascular disease.

  • High cholesterol.

  • Diabetes mellitus.

  • Air temperature.

  • Standing up.

  • Lying down.

  • Emotions.

  • Body size.

  • Medications.

What Is the Maximum Heart Rate?

The maximum heart rate refers to the highest rate of heart one can achieve during ultimate physical exercise. Many researchers have established a formula that promises to give an approximate highest heart rate of an individual. 220 - age of a person = approximate maximum heart rate.

What Is the Target Range Of Heart Rate According to Age Groups?

Mentioned below are the ranges of the target heart rate at rest for specific age groups according to the statistics of the World Health Organization.

  • Newborn: 100-160 bpm.

  • Age 0-5 months: 90-150 bpm.

  • Age 6-12 months: 80-140 bpm.

  • Age 1-3 years: 80-130 bpm.

  • Age 3-5 years: 80-120 bpm.

  • Age 6-10 years: 70-110 bpm.

  • Age 11-14 years: 60-105 bpm.

  • Age 20: 120 – 170 bpm.

  • Age 25: 117 – 166 bpm.

  • Age 30: 114 – 162 bpm.

  • Age 35: 111 – 157 bpm.

  • Age 40: 108 – 153 bpm.

  • Age 45: 105 – 149 bpm.

  • Age 50: 102 – 145 bpm.

  • Age 55: 99 – 140 bpm.

  • Age 60: 96 – 136 bpm.

  • Age 65: 93 – 132 bpm.

  • Age 70: 90 – 123 bpm.

How to Measure the Heart Rate?

There are several ways by which a person can measure their heart rate. Placing the index and middle finger at various parts of the body can help palpate the pulse. The pulse should be noted down in sixty seconds, which will be the standard heart rate. Body parts that are sensitive to pulse and aid in palpating the heartbeat are the following mentioned below.

  • The side of the neck.
  • The pit opposite the elbow.

  • The base of the wrist.

  • The temples of the head.

  • The corner of the eye.

  • The bottom of the toe.

  • Beside the windpipe.

  • Back of the knees.

  • Groin.

  • The inner side of the foot.

  • Top of the foot.

What Causes An Elevated Heart Rate?

An increase in the heart rate or tachycardia can result from a range of activities as well as physiological disturbances. There are no set rules of causes that lead to elevated heart rates. The opposite of tachycardia is called bradycardia. Mentioned below are a few possible reasons that may result in an increased heart rate.

  • Aging.

  • Stress.

  • Obesity.

  • Drinking coffee.

  • Smoking.

  • Pregnancy.

  • Standing up all of a sudden.

  • Intense physical activity.

  • Drinking alcohol.

  • Living in a tropical country.

  • Certain medications.

  • Drugs.

  • Anxiety.

  • Issues with the heart’s conduction system.

  • Fear.

  • Anemia.

  • Infection.

  • Elevated thyroid hormone.

  • Dehydration.

  • Stress.

  • Fever.

What Causes A Decrease in the Heart Rate?

Bradycardia is the condition when an individual suffers from low heart rates. Several reasons may lead to bradycardia. Mentioned below are some of the causes of a decreased heart rate.

  • Heart tissue damage.

  • Age.

  • Heart attack.

  • Congenital heart defect.

  • Inflammation of heart tissue.

  • Heart surgery complications.

  • An underactive thyroid gland.

  • Imbalance of chemicals in the blood.

  • Imbalance of calcium levels.

  • Imbalance of potassium levels.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea.

  • Rheumatic fever.

  • Lupus

  • Sedatives.

  • Opioids.

  • Antiarrhythmic drugs.

  • Psychiatric medications.

  • Beta-blockers.

How to Diagnose an Abnormal Heart Rate?

Tachycardia or bradycardia are issues that need to be addressed. The reasons for such abnormal heart rate may be a warning sign of an underlying cardiovascular condition. It should also be considered a wake-up call to move to a more healthy and active lifestyle. The healthcare provider generally takes a thorough medical and drug history of the patient. Below are a few diagnostic tools that the healthcare provider may use to diagnose the root cause of abnormal heart rate.

  • Holter monitor.

  • Electrocardiogram.

  • Tilt-table test.

  • Treadmill test.

  • Ultrasound of the heart.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging.

  • Computerized tomography scan.

  • Electrophysiological study.

  • Complete blood test.


A heart rate refers to the number of times the heart beats every minute. The average heart rate has a range and is dependent on various factors, especially age and level of physical fitness. Tachycardia and bradycardia are two conditions resulting in abnormally fast and meager heart rates, respectively. The reasons for their occurrence depend on several underlying medical conditions in addition to other systemic or external disturbances. Both conditions need to be diagnosed and treated. Treatment depends on the severity and onset of the disease. The main aim of the treatment is to bring down the heart rate to the average level according to age. Living a lifestyle full of regular exercise and a healthy diet is a key to maintaining the heart rate at normal levels and keeping any cardiovascular condition at bay.

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Last reviewed at:
02 Jan 2023  -  5 min read




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