Adults should consult a physician if their resting heartbeat is consistently below 60 minutes per minute, according to Mayo Clinic. A low heart rate is usually associated with a healthy heart, and some athletes may have a heart rate closer to 40 beats per minute.
The average adult heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute, states Mayo Clinic. The heart rate can be influenced by many factors, including the body position at the time the heart rate is being measured, how the person feels emotionally, and the amount of recent exercise. Other factors that can affect heart rate measurements include current medications being taken, the temperature of the air, the person's body size, and his level of fitness.
Adults should consult a physician if their heart rate is consistently above 100 beats per minute, recommends Mayo Clinic. Other possible symptoms of an abnormal heart rate include shortness of breath, dizziness or fainting.
To check the heart rate, a person puts his middle and index fingers together and places them against the neck near the windpipe. After locating the pulse, the person counts the amount of beats that occur in 15 seconds. He multiplies that number by four, which shows how many heartbeats occur in 60 seconds.