Enter the total number of breaths taken and the total time measured into the calculator to determine the respiratory rate. This calculator can also evaluate any of the variables given the others are known.

Respiratory Rate Formula

The following formula is used to calculate the respiratory rate.

RR = Tn / Tm


  • RR is the respiratory rate (breaths per minute)
  • Tn is the total number of breaths taken
  • Tm is the total time measured (minutes)

To calculate the respiratory rate, divide the total number of breaths taken by the total time measured in minutes. This will give the number of breaths per minute, which is the respiratory rate.

What is a Respiratory Rate?

A respiratory rate is the number of breaths a person takes per minute. It is one of the vital signs, along with heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature, that healthcare professionals measure to assess a patient’s basic bodily functions. The normal respiratory rate for a healthy adult at rest is 12 to 20 breaths per minute. Changes in the respiratory rate can indicate health issues such as respiratory disease, cardiac disease, or metabolic disorders.

How to Calculate Respiratory Rate?

The following steps outline how to calculate the Respiratory Rate.

  1. First, determine the total number of breaths taken (Tn).
  2. Next, determine the total time measured (Tm) in minutes.
  3. Next, gather the formula from above = RR = Tn / Tm.
  4. Finally, calculate the Respiratory Rate.
  5. After inserting the variables and calculating the result, check your answer with the calculator above.

Example Problem : 

Use the following variables as an example problem to test your knowledge.

respiratory rate (RR) = 20 breaths per minute

total number of breaths taken (Tn) = 60 breaths

total time measured (Tm) = 3 minutes