Vital Signs: What every young person should know about their health | KAYA FM

Vital Signs: What every young person should know about their health


By Zuko Komisa

Have you checked your vital signs – your body’s most basic functions – lately? The human body has a way of letting you know that there is a potential danger that might lead to an undesirable result so it’s important to know what health risk signs you may have before things get sour.

What are vital signs?

These are the four main vital signs routinely monitored by medical professionals at any given moment when they see a patient, these include your body temperature, your respiration rate (rate of breathing), blood pressure, as well as your pulse rate. Vital signs are important indicators of the state of your health.

The body’s Temperature:

A normal body temperature of a person varies depending on the following; your gender, recent activity, food and fluid consumption and time of day. Normal body temperature can range from 36.5 degrees C, (37.2 degrees C) for a healthy adult. There is a reason why the first thing you do is feel your forehead when you think something is wrong with you.

You can check your temperature in the following ways:

Orally through the classic glass thermometer or modern digital thermometers, both these are essential for every home. Another area you can check your temperature under the arm using a glass or digital thermometer as well as by ear, this usually reflects the body’s core temperature. High temperature usually means that you have a fever and hypothermia when you have low temperature.

Your respiration rate (rate of breathing)

A respiration rate is the number of breaths you take per minute and healthy adult’s respiratory rate is 12 to 20 breaths per minute. Watch out for a respiration rate under 12 or over 25 breaths per minute, this is highly irregular.

Pulse rate

Knowing your pulse rate is an important gauge to know if you have a healthy heart. The average resting heart rate for an adult is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. The maximum pulse rate is 220 minus your age.

Blood pressure

Your blood pressure needs to be within the normal range the recommended reading being any blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg and above 90/60 mm Hg in an adult. 

Knowing your vital signs helps you assess your general physical health as well as give clues to possible diseases and show progress toward recovery.

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