Heart Location in the Chest
The heart is located slightly left of center in your chest. It is protected from external shock or damage by the thoracic cage, which includes the ribs and sternum.
The heart is part of the cardiovascular system, or more specifically, the circulatory system. It is responsible for pumping blood through the more than 60,000 miles (96,560 km) of arteries, veins and capillaries in your body.
If you visit the doctor, she may listen to your heart using a stethoscope. The doctor may even use a heart monitor to see an electrocardiogram. This is a graph of the electrical activity of the heart. These electrical signals are what makes the heart muscle contract, pumping the blood through your body.
If you put your ear to a friend's chest, you will hear their heart beat. The lub-dup sound is the valves slamming shut, to prevent blood from flowing in the wrong direction.
You can also feel the result of your own heart beat by measuring your pulse. Place two fingers on the inside of your wrist. You should be able to feel the blood pulsing through the blood vessels. Count the number of pulses in 10 seconds, then multiply by 6. This gives your heart rate in beats per minute. The average heart rate is about 70 beats per minute at rest. During exercise, or during stressful situations like watching a scary movie, your heart will beat much faster. Your heart beats faster because your muscles need more oxygen and nutrients to support the increased activity.