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Why is there a difference in heart rate when supine vs sitting?

What's the difference in numbers of the heart rate when supine and sitting?

submitted by Kirby from San Francisco, California on 4/9/2011


by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Mohammad Saeed, MD  

Mohammad Saeed, MDIn adults, heart rate tends to be slower (about 60-70) when supine, and speeds up (70-90) when we either sit or stand. This is a natural body response to slight drop in blood pressure with upright posture and its purpose seems to be to maintain a relative normal blood flow to our body. Normal heart rate can vary a lot depending upon various factors including age, gender, level of physical activity, mental stress or anxiety, and presence or absence of disease. In an adult, normal heart rate can vary anywhere between 50-100 bpm.     

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Updated April 2011
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