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Understanding Your Blood Pressure Reading

Published On Dec 24, 2020

The force exerted by the blood in the body against inner walls of the blood vessels, particularly the arteries is referred to as blood pressure( BP). Majority of this force is due to the blood being pumped by the heart through the circulatory system. Blood pressure does not remain constant throughout the day. When an individual is sleeping, BP is lowest while when an individual wakes up and starts moving around, it starts to rise. Also, the BP can shoot up when a person is nervous, excited or physically active.

What Do Blood Pressure Number Means?

When a doctor notes your BP, it is generally expressed in a fraction form like 120/80 mm Hg . The number that is on top is referred to as systolic and the bottom number is known as diastolic.
The systolic number generally indicates the force in your arteries at the time of heart muscle contraction. It is also known as systolic pressure. The diastolic number tells about the blood pressure, when the heart muscles relax between the beats. It is known as diastolic pressure.

Understanding Your Blood Pressure Reading

Blood Pressure Readings

Blood pressure readings are expressed in the form of a ration( Systolic pressure/Diastolic Pressure). For instance, a BP of 120/88 mm hg would be read as 120 over 80.
A normal blood pressure reading is lower than 120/80 mm hg and more than 90/60 mm hg for adults. If your blood pressure lies in a healthy range, then no medical attention is required. However, it is significant to maintain a healthy lifestyle and proper weight to prevent the development of hypertension. Also, follow regular workout along with healthy eating and in case hypertension runs in your family history, you need to be even more careful.

Category Systolic Diastolic
Normal BP < 120 <80
Elevated BP 120-129 <80
High Blood Pressure( Stage 1)

130-139 80-89
High Blood Pressure( Stage 2) 140 or higher

90 or higher
Hypertensive Crisis >180

> 120

How to Measure Blood Pressure at Home?

A person can easily measure at home their own blood pressure using a digital BP device that can be bought from a pharmacy store. Properly read the instructions mentioned and analyse your reading with the family doctor. The appropriate time to measure your BP is when your body is at rest. Follow the below tips to ensure the accuracy of your BP reading:

  • Sit in a comfortable posture
  • Raise your left arm to the level of your heart on a desk and sit still
  • Wrap the cuff of the device smoothly around the upper portion of your arm(bare)

Preventive Measures

Although, you measure healthy numbers, still take preventive measures to ensure that your BP remains in the normal range. By practicing this, you can consequently lower the risk of getting hypertension, stroke and heart disease.
Given below are the ways to prevent high BP:

  • Eat a healthy diet ( low sodium intake)
  • Follow a regular workout regime
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Stop smoking
  • Manage your stress levels

Note: In case you are having a high BP, it is significant to take proper steps in order to prevent it from getting worse. Get regular medical care and follow a proper exercise and diet plan.

Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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