How Many Heartbeats in a Lifetime? (Part 1)

Jason Marshall, PhD
1-minute read

heart beatsIf I'm lucky, I might live to be 90 years old. If I'm really lucky, I might even make it to 100. My wife firmly insists that she's going to live to 110...and I don't doubt her.

If you think about it, these numbers are rather amazing. After all, we're lucky if our cars, appliances, and other things with moving parts last a decade. But the human body—and in particular the human heart—keeps ticking away for nearly a century. It's quite a well-functioning piece of machinery!

Which makes me wonder: If I live 100 years, how many times will my heart beat?

Well, depending upon how fit a person is, the typical human heart at rest will beat between 60 and 90 times per minute (hopefully toward the lower end of that range). Which, as we learned in the Math Dude article on converting units, means that my 100 year (fingers crossed!) lifetime will include:

(100 yr) x (365.25 days/yr) x (24 hr/day) x (60 min/hr) x (60 heartbeats/min) = 3,155,760,000 heartbeats

That's a little over 3 billion beats! If I live 80 years, my heart will have beaten a few over 2.5 billion times. Still pretty impressive!

Second after second, while we work, walk, run, sleep, and do or don't do everything else in our lives, our trusty tickers keep on ticking away a lifetime of heartbeats.

Which all makes me wonder (yes, I spend a lot of time wondering): How does the number of beats in a human lifetime compare to the number of beats in the lifetime of something like a honeybee? Or a cat? Or a whale?

Be sure to check out my next post to find out!

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

About the Author

Jason Marshall, PhD

Jason Marshall is the author of The Math Dude's Quick and Dirty Guide to Algebra. He provides clear explanations of math terms and principles, and his simple tricks for solving basic algebra problems will have even the most math-phobic person looking forward to working out whatever math problem comes their way.