Vital signs reflect essential body functions, including your heartbeat, breathing rate, temperature, and blood pressure. Your health care provider may watch, measure, or monitor your vital signs to check your level of physical functioning.
Normal vital signs change with age, sex, weight, exercise capability, and overall health.
Normal vital sign ranges for the average healthy adult while resting are:
Blood pressure: 90/60 mm/Hg to 120/80 mm/Hg
Breathing: 12 to 18 breaths per minute
Pulse: 60 to 100 beats per minute
Temperature: 97.8°F to 99.1°F (36.5°C to 37.3°C)/average 98.6°F (37°C)
Simel DL. Approach to the patient: history and physical examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 6.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.