The ECG rate is a measure of the speed of the heart’s electrical beats. The rate can be calculated in different ways (see below). These methods usually depend on the ECG having been recorded at standard settings – so you need to know how to check the recording settings first. The rate can be described as either normal (60-100 beats per minute in adults), tachycardia (abnormally fast), or bradycardia (abnormally slow). Rate can be affected by many things including fear, pain, medications, sepsis, hydration and arrhythmias.