The pulse rate can be learned by pressing an artery against the bone behind it with a finger, and counting the number of times it throbs in one minute. Suitably placed arteries are the radial on the inside of the wrist, those beside the adam's apple or at the temple in front of the ear.
For the average healthy man the normal rate is 65 to 80, with an average of 72. The average for a woman may be near 80. For a child of one year it is 110 to 120, which by five years of age has reduced to 80 or 90. In the elderly it drops to 60 or less.
The rate increases during or following exercise, meals, excitement or the taking of stimulants. It is lower when we sit or lie down, and varies with illness. Particularly at the wrist, in hypothermia the pulse becomes hard to detect, but the rate may drop below 50.