Almost one third of UK adults have high blood pressure, however millions don’t realise it. Know Your Numbers Week aims to get us all to get our blood pressure taken and to understand the risk factors to keep our hearts and bodies healthy.
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure of blood in your arteries.
Your blood pressure will fluctuate throughout each day and night, particularly when you are moving. However it is when your overall blood pressure is consistently high, even when resting, that you need to do something about it.
Why is high blood pressure bad for your health?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, means that your heart is having to work harder to pump blood around your body; your arteries become stiff and narrow and can become clogged with fatty material.
This can lead to heart and circulatory diseases like heart attack or stroke. It can also cause kidney failure, heart failure, problems with your sight and vascular dementia.
What are the causes of high blood pressure?
In most cases, high blood pressure is caused by people’s diet, lifestyle or a medical condition. Drinking too much alcohol, not doing enough exercise, smoking, eating too much salt and being overweight can all increase your risk of getting high blood pressure.
As many of these risk factors are controllable, there are lots of things you can do to improve your lifestyle and lower your risk of high blood pressure, such as quitting smoking, doing more exercise and eating healthier foods.
What is a healthy blood pressure reading?
Your blood pressure should be under 140/90 mmHg.
Read this helpful Blood pressure chart for adults from Blood Pressure UK for more information on blood pressure readings.
Approximately five million adults in the UK have undiagnosed high blood pressure, so will not know that they are at risk. That is why it is so important to get yours measured.
How to measure your blood pressure?
If you’re able to buy a blood pressure monitor, you can take your reading at home. Otherwise, some pharmacies and GP surgeries will take your blood pressure for you.
Our team of practitioners always have a blood pressure monitor – next time you attend our site for an appointment or our practitioner is attending your workplace, ask them to take your blood pressure to make sure yours is a healthy reading.
Sources: Blood Pressure UK (2021); British Heart Foundation (2021)