There are many ways to screen your overall health for underlying issues that are both quick and easy.
More comprehensive examples of ways to screen your health include blood tests and routine physical exams.
However, one incredibly valuable part of a physical exam is the screening of your vital signs, and we’ve put together this gamer guide to vital signs to help you understand it all!
What are they?
Vital signs are clinical measurements that indicate the state of your essential body functions. Vital signs are your body temperature, resting heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate.
But, what do each of these tell you? What values are considered normal or healthy? We’ve gone over each of these to help you better understand your next physical examination.
Your body temperature is the baseline temperature for optimal function of your organ systems, collectively. Classically, the “normal” body temperature is identified at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) or 37 degrees Celsius (°C).
Truly, optimal body temperature varies from person to person, and a healthy range is a better standard for measurement. Some people, for example, may be healthy with a temperature as low as 97.7°F (36.5°C) or as high as 99°F (37.2°C)
Ultimately, it’s better to establish a normal value for you, personally, by taking multiple measurements over time on days when you’re feeling healthy.
A mild fever (increase) or slight drop in body temperature is usually nothing to worry about. However, excessive changes in temperature—below 95°F (35°C) or above 103°F (39.4°C)—are ones that may become dangerous.
Note: regardless of the level of change outside of normal, you should consult your doctor immediately if you are concerned about your body temperature!
Resting heart rate
Your resting heart rate, also known as your pulse rate, is the number of times your heart beats per minute, on average. This is usually a quick screening to understand how hard your heart is working—at rest—to deliver blood and oxygen to your body.
While resting, your heart should not need to work hard to pump blood to your body. Since your muscles are not working, the need for nutrients and oxygen is solely for the purpose of maintaining normal body function.
As you begin to move, your heart rate should increase in response as your heart is trying to deliver more blood and oxygen to working muscles.
A normal resting heart rate, like a normal body temperature, is also a range rather than one specific value. If you search resting heart rate on the internet, you’ll likely see a range of 60 to 100 beats per minute being considered normal.
However, there has been research indicating a resting heart rate greater than 80 may double your risk of premature death, and a resting heart rate greater than 90 may triple your risk!
For our gamer guide to vital signs, we report that an optimal resting heart rate for adults is 50 to 75 beats per minute.
If you are in excellent physical shape, your heart rate may be in the 40s, and this is also considered normal for an athlete.
Your blood pressure is the amount of force, measured in millimeters of Mercury (mmHg), your blood is pushing against your artery walls. Ultimately, this tells you how hard your heart muscle has to contract in order to deliver blood to the rest of your body.
Blood pressure measurements will give you two numbers. The higher number is called the systolic pressure, and this is the measure of the force of your blood as your heart is contracting.
The lower number is called the diastolic pressure, and this is the measure of force of your blood while your heart is relaxed between contractions or heart beats.
Generally, blood pressure should be below 120 systolic and 80 diastolic.
Elevated blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a risk for cardiovascular disease.
Lower blood pressures may increase your risk of fainting; however, if your heart is efficiently pumping blood to your peripheral tissue, low blood pressure is not usually a major concern.
Note: if you feel dizzy or faint, you should consult your doctor.
Respiratory rate is probably the least known of the vital signs, and many people may not have ever been given their respiratory rate during a review of their physical examination.
Respiratory rate is the number of breaths you take at rest, per minute, on average. A generally healthy range of breaths per minute is 12 to 20 for adults.
Along with resting heart rate and blood pressure, your respiratory rate will give you an idea of how efficient your cardiovascular system works.
For example, if your heart rate and respiratory rate are increased at rest, this indicates your body is trying to deliver more oxygen to your body tissue. As a screening test, this may indicate underlying cardiovascular issues.
We wanted to provide a quick gamer guide to vital signs to help you understand what each of your vitals mean and what’s considered normal.
If your values are outside of normal ranges, you should discuss with your doctor what you should do.
If you have any questions about vital signs, please comment below!
We’re also on Twitch! Give us a follow and catch up with our live streams discussing all topics in health & wellness both in and out of gaming.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Esports Healthcare disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
The information contained on this website does not establish, nor does it imply, doctor-patient relationship. Esports Healthcare does not offer this information for diagnostic purposes. A diagnosis must not be assumed based on the information provided.