How to Measure Breathing Rates

Updated April 17, 2017

Breathing rates, or respiration rates, are the number of breaths you take each minute. One breathing rate equals one in breath (inhale) and one out breath (exhale). The breathing rates can change whether you are at rest or doing a physical activity. Your breathing rate even changes when you are travelling at higher altitudes. Certain health factors, such as smoking, can also have a negative effect on your breathing rate. To measure your breathing rates, you need a calculator and a clock.

Choose whether you want to measure your breathing rate at rest or after exercise. If you want to measure your resting breathing rate, ensure that you are relaxed and not doing any strenuous activities.

Breathe in and out normally. Count the number of respirations (in and out breaths) in two minutes. Time yourself with a clock or stopwatch. Repeat this three times.

Add up the numbers on your calculator. Divide them by three.

Divide the number by two to get your average number of breaths per minute. This is your breathing rate.

Things You'll Need

  • Clock or stopwatch
  • Calculator
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About the Author

Based in Massachusetts, Chanel Adams has been writing since 2009. Her work has been published by the "Lowell Sun,", Coed Media and other print and online publications. She has knowledge in fashion, careers, health, education, computers and electronics. Adams has an Associate of Science in administrative medical assisting from San Joaquin Valley College.