Despite the fact we seem perfectly happy to stick out our arm, and have it wrapped up in an inflatable lilo – many men don’t know what their blood pressure is and what it means. Here’s a brief explanation. Blood pressure is the pressure created by the flow of blood through the main arteries. The pressure rises and falls as the heart responds to the demands we make upon it, for example exercise, anxiety and sleep.
Today blood pressure is usually taken using a digital blood pressure monitor machine though you might have it taken with a sphygmomanometer. Two measurements are taken: the systolic or higher pressure records the heart as it beats, pumping blood around the body, while the diastolic or lower pressure records the heart between beats, as it relaxes.
If you consistently have a reading of 140/90 or higher, you may have high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure increases your risk of developing some health conditions, including cardiovascular disease.
Generally, the lower your blood pressure, the healthier you are. As a general guide, the ideal blood pressure for a young healthy adult is 120/80 or lower.
However, it’s possible to have abnormally low blood pressure. People with a reading of around 90/60 or lower are generally considered to have low blood pressure. For some people with low blood pressure, there may be an underlying cause that could need treatment.↑ Back to top