The Pulse in Health. - The pulse is about 120 to 140 at birth. It gradually diminishes until it reaches about 90 at the age of seven or eight years. In adult life it is 65 to 75, and in old age not much over 60. Females have a somewhat more frequent pulse than males, the difference being five or six beats a minute. A difference of five to ten beats is made by changing from a lying position to sitting, and from sitting to standing. By violent running the pulse may be increased to 140 or more.

The pulse is felt by placing the first two fingers upon the artery at the outside of the arm, with the second finger toward the heart. The force of the heart is determined by pressing with the second finger and noticing how much force is required to compress the artery so that the pulse cannot be felt by the first finger. The pulse may also be felt at the temple, the neck, and in various other situations.