How can you take part in Know Your Numbers Week 2022?

Know Your Numbers - Blood Pressure Check

This September, Blood Pressure UK is asking you if you know your numbers to figure out if you have high blood pressure without even knowing it!

What is Know Your Numbers Week?

Know Your Numbers Week is the UK’s biggest blood pressure awareness day. It encourages people to get their friends, families, neighbours, and colleagues to measure their blood pressure and to take the necessary steps if the reading is considered high. In previous years, the Know Your Numbers campaign set up Pressure Stations across the UK, but now it seeks to empower Britons to take control of their own health and wellbeing by testing at home using reliable pressure monitors.

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the measure of the force with which your heart pumps blood around your body. Your blood pressure score will be presented using two numbers:

Systolic: the pressure when your heart is actually pumping blood around the body.

Diastolic: the pressure when your heart is resting between beats.

Your blood pressure score will typically be expressed as your systolic score over your diastolic score.
For example, your score might look this: 120/80. Every person has their own blood pressure score. Whether your blood pressure is good or bad depends on your score falling within a certain range. Generally, a good blood pressure score varies from 90/60 to 140/90. If your score falls below these numbers, your blood pressure is considered low. However, if your numbers are above this range, your blood pressure is high.

If your blood pressure is good, it is important for you to keep testing to ensure you stay on the right track. Many environmental factors can impact your blood pressure score, so it is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well, getting enough sleep, and doing plenty of exercise.

If you test your blood pressure and it is high or creeping towards high, it is a good idea to visit your GP for advice on what lifestyle changes you can make to improve your numbers. This advice may include reducing your salt intake, cutting back on alcohol, and stopping smoking.

Why is Know Your Numbers Week important?

Around a third of the people in the UK have high blood pressure. It is estimated that 6 million people in the UK have high blood pressure and are completely unaware of it. This is because high blood pressure usually fails to prevent any symptoms until a major health crisis such as a heart attack or a stroke occurs. It is precisely for this reason that high blood pressure is often called a ‘silent killer’ and requires regular checking to ensure it is under control.

Unchecked high blood pressure costs the NHS around £2.1 billion a year. This figure is a combination of patients coming in for blood pressure checks, and the treatment of any illnesses or medical emergencies related to high blood pressure. That is why this year’s campaign focuses on encouraging people to use home blood pressure devices to regularly keep up to date with their numbers. It is an efficient and inexpensive way to monitor your blood pressure without visiting your GP or pharmacist.

Checking your blood pressure at home means that you do not have to wait to get an appointment and empowers you to make changes to your lifestyle as soon as is necessary. This ultimately helps to take a little bit of the pressure off the NHS.

Above all, however, knowing your numbers can save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

For more information or to get involved, please visit: Blood Pressure UK