Difference between Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

Published on June 13, 2015

Many times, these two ideas of blood pressure and heart rate confuse scholars. This article, therefore, will focus on outlining the differences between these two terms.

A high heart rate does not necessarily mean high blood pressure. The heart rate could go up due to vigorous exercises or even stress and anxiety.


Heart rate chart
Heart rate chart

Heart rate refers to the speed of the heartbeat. It is measured by the number of poundings of the heart per unit of time. Heartbeat is known to vary depending on the body’s physical needs. It could therefore go up during intense physical exercises or slow down during rest periods.

Blood pressure measurement
Blood pressure measurement

Blood pressure refers to the strength of pushing that is experienced when the heart beats and pumps blood to all parts of the body so as to supply oxygen. The pressure therefore refers to the pushing of the blood against the sides of the blood vessels.

Comparison chart

Heart rateBlood pressure
Its unit of measurement is in beats per minute and the normal heart rates range from sixty to one hundred beats per minute.Its unit of measurement is in millimeters of mercury and every blood pressure measurement consists of two measurements. Normal blood pressure is 120/80
Heart rate measurement is just a single measurementBlood pressure measurement consists of two readings, the systolic pressure reading and diastolic pressure reading

Heart Rate vs Blood Pressure

What’s the difference between heart rate and blood pressure?

  • Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury while heart rate is measured in beats per minute. A normal person should have a heart rate of approximately 60 to 100 beats per minute, depending on the activity being carried out at the time the measurement is taken. Normal blood pressure is 120/80.
  • Whereas blood pressure measurements include two measurements, which are systolic pressure and diastolic pressure (systolic pressure refers to pressure as the heart beats and forces blood into the arteries while diastolic pressure refers to the pressure as the heart relaxes between beats), heart rate measurements, on the other hand, include a single number representing the number of heart beats per minute.
  • High blood pressure is most likely to result in increased heart rates, while increased heart rate does not necessarily point to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is also referred to as hypertension, which is a major killer disease in the modern world. From this finding, therefore, it is realized that an increased heart rate may be considered normal in instances where one is having a morning run, for example.


For an explanatory video about how to measure heart rate and blood pressure, watch this: