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Blood Pressure Management


Managing your blood pressure is important because there are no warning signs or symptoms if you develop high blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart attack or stroke. Blood pressure tends to rise with age so knowing your numbers and making lifestyle choices to lower your risk is a sound approach. Normal blood pressure is 119/79 mmHg or lower. Blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 mmHg is considered to be pre-hypertension. Anything over 140/90 mmHg is considered hypertension. See your health care provider if your blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or higher.

Best Practices:

  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly and understand what the numbers mean.
  • Identify the risks you can control: weight, physical activity, food choices, stress management, tobacco and alcohol use.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, even a 5-10% weight lost can help with blood pressure control.
  • Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more days a week.
  • Stop using tobacco products.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol consumption. Women should drink no more than one drink a day, men no more than two a day.
  • Eat healthy. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan has been proven to lower blood pressure.
  • Manage your stress.
  • If you are on blood pressure medication, take it as prescribed.

How We Can Help:

At Vanderbilt there are many opportunities for faculty/staff to have their blood pressure checked. Health Plus provides blood pressure checks anytime during its hours of operation. Other options include having your blood pressure checked at the Occupational Health Clinic or at the kiosk in the Medical Center Courtyard Café. In addition, Health Plus provides blood pressure screenings at Know Your Numbers events throughout the year and at Pressure Relief Network classes in the winter.

Additional Information:

Controlling Blood Pressure

The DASH diet

Know Your Numbers

American Heart Association: High Blood Pressure

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: Your Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure

Keywords: Systolic, Diastolic, DASH Diet, Normal Blood Pressure, High Blood Pressure

Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 in Health Plus, Living Healthy, Feeling Good, Resource Articles and tagged , , ,


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Vanderbilt Health & Wellness - 615-936-0961
Occupational Health Clinic - 615-936-0955
Work/Life Connections-EAP - 615-936-1327
Health Plus - 615-343-8943