• 1 in 3 adults in the UK have high blood pressure – DO YOU?

    Blood Pressure UK is a charity which raises awareness of high blood pressure and encourages all adults to get a blood pressure check.  This year’s campaign takes place from the 7th – 13th September 2020 and YOU are in control.

    Each year clinicians from the Occupational Health and Well-being Unit run blood pressure stations in various locations across RCT, encouraging staff to have their blood pressure checked and provide advice. Due to COVID restrictions and social distancing measures, this year it’s gone virtual, however we still encourage the whole of RCT to Know Their Numbers! Home monitoring offers a way for YOU to take control of your health, and it really can save lives.

    • Blood Pressure - The basics

      It is important to check your blood pressure as high blood pressure rarely has noticeable symptoms. Having high blood pressure, which is not treated, puts you at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure. However, the good news is that high blood pressure can be treated and often prevented.

      Blood pressure is recorded with 2 numbers, the higher number (systolic pressure) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body. The lower number (diastolic pressure) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.

      • Causes of high blood pressure

        • You are over the age of 65
        • Do not exercise enough
        • Are overweight
        • Smoking
        • Not enough or disturbed sleep
        • Are of African or Caribbean decent
        • Have a relative with high blood pressure
        • Drink too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine – based drinks)
        • Eat too much salt and do not eat enough fruit and vegetables

        • How to check your blood pressure using a blood pressure machine

          To learn more about home monitoring please visit Blood Pressure UK to download a range of home blood pressure monitoring information. You will find information on how to choose a monitor, how to measure your blood pressure and what action needs to be taken with your reading.

          • What the numbers mean

            Alternatively, you can use the free online NHS blood pressure tool to find out what your blood pressure reading means and what actions you should take.

            Please note that blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day and you cannot diagnose high blood pressure from one blood pressure reading, you may also want to check it 2-3 times for consistency, then speak to your GP who can assess your blood pressure.

            • Lifestyle

              Making healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high. Some changes may lower your blood pressure in a matter of weeks, others will take a little longer.

              Listed in speed of effect:

              • Cut down on salt – An adult should eat no more than 6g of salt a day
              • Increase your fresh fruit and vegetables – Aim to eat at least 5 portions or more a day
              • Drink alcohol in moderation – No more than 2-3 units per day, or 14 units a week.
              • Increase your level of activity – Build 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 times per week
              • Lose weight if you need to – Your doctor or nurse will be able to tell you your ideal body weight

               For further information please visit Blood Pressure UK website