Is 120 Pulse Rate Normal?

Reviewed on 4/14/2022

A woman checking her pulse with a blood pressure monitor
A resting pulse rate of 120 BPM in adults would be considered high, while a heart rate between 60 beats per minute (BPM) and 100 BPM is normal for people 15 years and older.

The pulse rate, also called your heart rate, is the number of times the heartbeats per minute (BPM). 

Your pulse can be felt on your:

  • Wrists
  • Inside of the elbow
  • Side of the neck
  • Top of the foot

Place your finger (not your thumb) over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds to get your heart rate. 

According to the American Heart Association, a normal adult resting heart rate is between 60 beats per minute (BPM) and 100 BPM for people 15 years and older. A resting pulse rate of 120 BPM in adults would be considered high. 

What Are Normal Pulse Rates by Age?

Normal pulse rates (heart rates) by age are as follows:

Age range Pulse Rate/Heart Rate (beats per minute, or BPM)
Newborn 100-160 
0-5 months 90-150
6-12 months 80-140
1-3 years 80-130
3-5 years 80-120
6-10 years 70-110
11-14 years 60-105
15 years and older 60-100

When Should I Worry About a 120 Pulse Rate?

Common everyday causes of a fast heart beat that may not always be a cause for concern may include:  

Serious conditions that can cause a fast heart beat include: 

Call 911 or get to a hospital’s emergency department (do not drive yourself) if you have an unusually fast heart rate accompanied by symptoms such as: 


In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. See Answer

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Reviewed on 4/14/2022
Image Source: iStock Images