Know Your Numbers week is back to help more people to have their blood pressure checked and understand the impact high blood pressure can have on health.
From 9th to 15th September, pressure stations will be set up across the UK to provide free blood pressure checks within doctor’s surgeries, pharmacies, shopping and leisure centre. Everyone is welcome to visit their local Pressure Station to have their blood pressure tested and receive a free check up to know their numbers.
The award-winning campaign has helped over 1.5 million people to know their blood pressure number, just like how they would know their weight and height.
A third of the UK population suffer from high blood pressure – and many don’t know they have it!
This year’s ‘Know Your Numbers’ campaign is focused on living a long and healthy life. Knowing your blood pressure can help you make healthy lifestyle decisions to either reduce high blood pressure or prevent it in the future. Find out more about the ‘Know Your Numbers’ campaign here.
What is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the measure of the force that the heart uses to pump blood around the body. It is given in 2 figures, systolic pressure (the pressure when the heart pumps blood out) and diastolic pressure (the pressure when the heart rests between beats) and is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). Healthy blood pressure is considered between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
High blood pressure can narrow the arteries and blood vessels within the body, making it harder for blood to pump around and causing more pressure. The extra strain needed to pump blood around the body doesn’t just affect the heart and blood vessels, but other organs like the brain and kidneys.
How do I know if I have High Blood Pressure?
There aren’t many noticeable symptoms of high blood pressure. It is often related to unhealthy lifestyle habits such as excessive drinking, smoking, being overweight or eating a lot of salty food.
Knowing your blood pressure number is the first step to reducing the risk of high blood pressure. Your GP or pharmacist can check your blood pressure for you and tell you if it is high, low, or average. ‘Know Your Numbers’ week is the perfect opportunity to visit a pressure station and have a free blood pressure test. Click here to find your nearest Pressure Station.
Overtime, high blood pressure can increase the risk of long-term health conditions such as coronary heart disease and kidney disease. It also increases the risk of a stroke or a heart attack.
I have High Blood Pressure – what can I do to lower it?
Making changes to your lifestyle can help lower – and prevent – high blood pressure. Making sure you have regular exercise and losing weight if you’re overweight can help, as well as stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol intake and caffeine, and reducing the amount of salt in your diet.
In some cases, doctors can prescribe medication to help keep high blood pressure under control.
Find out more about High Blood Pressure and ways to help reduce your risk by clicking here.
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