Blood is transported through the circulatory system via blood vessels. There are three main types of blood vessel.
Arteries which transport blood away from the heart
Veins which transport blood back to the heart.
Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels and they enable the exchange of oxygen, carbon dioxide and nutrients from the blood to the surrounding tissue.
The movement of blood in the circulatory system is facilitated through the pumping action of the heart. When the blood is pumped pressure is exerted by the flowing blood on the walls of the blood vessels. This pressure is know as blood pressure. Your body uses a number of different mechanisms to try to ensure your blood pressure remains within a narrow healthy range.
The pressure measured during a pump is know as systolic pressure (which is the higher number).. The pressure measured between pumps is know as diastolic pressure (which is the lower number). These are the two reading which make up your blood pressure as in 126/85 mm Hg. Systolic pressure 126 mm Hg / Diastolic pressure 85 mm Hg. Use the blood pressure chart above to see what range your blood pressure falls within.
Note: mm HG means Millimeters of mercury which is a medical measurement of pressure.
Untreated high blood pressure can cause serious problems to your health, it can cause illness, disability and death if ignored (note:high blood pressure is considered the most important single risk factor for stroke). Even slightly raised blood pressure can dramatically increase your chances of experiencing health issues down the line. See why is high blood pressure so bad for more information.
If the blood pressure chart shows you are in the 'high normal' or 'high blood pressure' range it is time to take action to lower your blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Causes 62% of all Strokes and 49% of all Heart Attacks... Check your BP on the blood pressure chart. If the chart shows you are in the prehypertension or hypertension ranges, do something about it, even if it is just having a chat with your doctor. The blood pressure chart is for all adults regardless of age, as whilst your age rises, the thresholds for prehypertension and hypertension don't! (there is no blood pressure chart by age!) No matter what your age - if your BP is above 140/90 you should set about lowering it. You can record and monitor your readings on our printable blood pressure log.