A high heart rate on the treadmill is a good thing. But when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re sitting on the couch? Not so much. People with high resting heart rates may face an increased risk of mortality, according to a new study published in the journal Heart.
Researchers started tracking the health of 6,125 men in 1971, but when they followed up in 2001, only 2,798 of the men were still alive. While the specific causes of death were unknown, researchers looked at the participantsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ resting heart rates and found that, for every additional 10-22 beats per minute, mortality increased by 16 percent.
Even when physical activity level was controlled for, researchers determined that a high resting heart rate is an independent mortality factor.
To measure your resting heart rate, simply take your index and middle fingers and place them between your neck and jaw or the inside of your wrist. For 15 seconds, count the beats you feel and then multiply that number by four to get your resting beats per minute.
A normal resting heart rate is anywhere between 60-100 beats per minute, but donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t panic if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re at the high end of the range; adopting a healthier diet or an exercise routine can help you lower it, says lead study author Magnus Jensen, MD.
If your resting heart rate is greater than 100 beats per minute, visit a doctor to figure out what may be causing the issue and what you should do to lower it, stat.