Note: I thought the Biology stack exchange would suit this question better than the Fitness stack exchange. Please let me know in the comments if this is not suitable here.

I am interested in tracking my resting heart rate as it decreases with aerobic training.

At the moment I take it immediately after I have woken up before I get up out of bed.

What is the correct medical procedure(s) for taking a resting heart rate?

I'm aware a standardized procedure is important but what about:

  1. Body position: Should I be sitting or lying down?
  2. Heart rate: Should I take the lowest value or an average HR?
  3. What duration should I take it for?
  4. How relaxed should I be?

In an academic situation how would one reliably take resting a heart rate?

Please include answers that can be referenced to scientific or medical literature.


1 Answer 1


1) According to this article you should be taking it in the most preferred position you want. It would change according to the position you are in so make yourself comfortable sitting or lying down (reference).

2) You take the number of beats of your heart in a minute. If you take the number of beats for 2 minutes, then average your count by 2.

3) One minute (reference).

4) Completely relaxed, most articles recommend taking it in the morning while waking up so you are doing the right thing (reference).

I don't understand what you mean by an academic situation so I could try and answer it if you clarified it.


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