Blood Pressure Calculator
What is a blood pressure monitoring?
Blood pressure monitoring is a simple way of checking if your blood pressure is too high or too low.
Blood pressure is the term used to describe the strength with which your blood pushes on the sides of your arteries as it's pumped around your body.
What do blood pressure monitoring readings mean?
Blood pressure monitoring is the only way to find out if your blood pressure is too high or too low, because most people won't have any obvious symptoms. Having a test is easy and could save your life.
The diagram below shows the two types of readings we get from blood pressure monitoring - diastolic and systolic. It also shows where those readings become high blood pressure (hypertension.)
Calculate Your Average Blood Pressure
To work out your average blood pressure, you will need to take a number of readings each day for a week. You can read more about this here.
Once you have done this, please use this calculator to work out your average blood pressure.
When should I get my blood pressure tested?
We encourage patients to monitor their blood pressure at home. Click here for details.
It's recommended that all adults over 40 years of age have their blood pressure tested at least every five years so any potential problems can be detected early.
If you've already been diagnosed with high or low blood pressure, or you're at a particularly high risk of these problems, you may need to have more frequent tests to monitor your blood pressure.
Home blood pressure monitoring
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
In some cases, your doctor may recommend 24-hour or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM).
This is where your blood pressure is tested automatically around every 30 minutes over a 24-hour period using a cuff attached to a portable device worn on your waist.
ABPM can help to give a clear picture of how your blood pressure changes over the course of a day.
You should continue with your normal daily activities during the test, although you must avoid getting the equipment wet.
Understanding your blood pressure reading
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and is given as two figures:
- Systolic pressure – the pressure when your heart pushes blood out
- Diastolic pressure – the pressure when your heart rests between beats
For example, if your blood pressure is "140 over 90" or 140/90mmHg, it means you have a systolic pressure of 140mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 90mmHg.
As a general guide:
- Normal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
- High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher
- Low blood pressure is considered to be 90/60mmHg or lower
A blood pressure reading between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg could mean you're at risk of developing high blood pressure if you don't take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.
Controlling your blood pressure
If your blood pressure is found to be too high or too low, your GP or the healthcare professional performing the test can advise you about ways to control it.
This may involve:
- Adopting a healthy, balanced diet and restricting your salt intake
- Getting regular exercise
- Cutting down on alcohol
- Losing weight
- Stopping smoking
- Taking medication, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or calcium channel blockers
In some cases, you may be referred to a doctor such as a cardiologist (heart specialist) to discuss treatment options.
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