What is High Blood Pressure and Why
Does it Matter?
- Blood pressure is important because
the higher your blood pressure,
the higher your risk of health problems in the future. If your blood pressure is high, it is
putting extra strain on your arteries and your heart. Over time, this strain
can cause the arteries to become thicker and less flexible, or to become
weaker. If your arteries become thicker and less flexible, they will become
narrower, making them more likely to become clogged up. If an artery becomes
completely clogged up (known as a clot), this can lead to a heart attack,
stroke, kidney disease or dementia.
chart shows the different blood pressure levels:
Setting Up a Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is
generally a chronic condition and is often associated with few or no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, it is usually
when blood pressure spikes
suddenly and is extreme enough to be considered a medical emergency. One
way for employers to ensure the health and safety of their employees is by
setting up a blood pressure self-monitoring station. It’s important to have an
accurate measurement of your blood pressure. The following list is important
for ensuring you get accurate blood pressure readings:
should not smoke, exercise, or consume caffeine in the 30 minutes before
measuring your blood pressure.
the instructions to ensure you know the correct placement of the cuff on your
should be seated and at rest for at least 5 minutes before the measurement is
taken. Keep your feet flat on the floor, and don’t cross your legs. Make sure
to put the cuff on your bare skin. Crossed legs or clothing will lead to
or more blood pressure readings should be taken at least one minute apart and then
not talk during the test.
results, a self-monitoring station should be in a quiet, isolated setting where
employees can sit and rest before administering the blood pressure test.
Creating a space that employees can reliably monitor their blood pressure
allows them to be proactive towards their health.
For a how-to demonstration of
measuring your own blood pressure at work or home, watch the following videos:
View the full
Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Toolkit here.