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)
Ball JW, Dains JE, Flynn JA, Solomon BS, Stewart RW. Vital signs and pain assessment. In: Ball JW, Dains JE, Flynn JA, Solomon BS, Stewart RW, eds. Seidel's Guide to Physical Examination. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 6.
Simel DL. Approach to the patient: history and physical examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 7.