In this module, you will learn:

  • about heart beat, pulse and blood pressure

Resources to help you:

Textbook: page 45, 46

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Learn about heart rate and blood pressure

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The heart beats at around 60 - 80 beats per minute

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Heart rate and pulse


The heart's function is to pump blood throughout our body. It pumps at around 60-80 times per minute. Each beat produces a pulse.

The number of pulses per minute is known as the pulse rate, which is the same as the heart rate.

Taking the pulse of a patient

Credit: @leaf via Yayimages

You can find your pulse rate by placing a finger on your wrist.

During exercise, your body needs more oxygen. Your heart will pump blood faster to bring oxygen from the lungs to the muscles. So during exercise, your pulse rate will increase.

Blood pressure


Blood pressure is the force that is exerted on the walls of your blood vessels (arteries, veins or capillaries). When your body is doing physical activities such as running, our hearts beat faster. This also increases blood pressure.

The blood pressure can be measured using a sphygmomanometer. Nowadays we can easily measure our own blood pressure using digital sphygmomanometer.

Doctor using sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure

Credit: @zelmabrezinska via Twenty20

A digital sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure

Credit: @AZ.BLT via Twenty20

Ready for the next module?

In the next module, we will look at the different components of blood.

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