KNOW YOUR NUMBER AWARENESS WEEK – 5th – 11th September – the biggest blood pressure testing awareness event. Every September, volunteers give free blood pressure checks to thousands of passers-by to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Know Your Numbers! Week reaches those who have high blood pressure and don’t know it, so they can get the treatment and support they need to bring it under control.
Hundreds of organisations take part, setting up Pressure Stations in public places across the UK. From hospitals and health centres to offices, car parks and supermarkets. Even the Royal Albert Hall. Take a look at the highlights from past campaigns.
2022 sees the 22nd anniversary of Know your Numbers! Week. We are planning to mark this milestone with a new theme and activities and look forward to working with you on Know your Numbers! Week 2022.
Know Your Numbers! Week 2022 is taking place from 5-11 September. We won’t be offering free pressure checks in our community Pressure Stations again this year, but we will still encourage the whole of the UK to Know Their Numbers! We will build on our campaigns from the last two years as we get the nation to take up home monitoring. Register to take part. The theme for 2022 is: Measure. Modify. Manage.
What is Blood Pressure? Blood pressure is a measure of the force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body.
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and is given as 2 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:
- ideal 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
High blood pressure is often related to unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, being overweight and not exercising enough.
Left untreated, high blood pressure can increase your risk of developing a number of serious long-term health conditions, such as coronary heart disease and kidney disease.
Low blood pressure is less common. Some medicines can cause low blood pressure as a side effect. It can also be caused by a number of underlying conditions, including heart failure and dehydration.
It’s easy to get your blood pressure checked. You can simply make an appointment with your GP, practice nurse or at a local pharmacy.
There are lots of other places you can have them too. In most cases, the checks should be free, so it is worth looking around.
- Your doctor’s surgery. Your GP or practice nurse can check your blood pressure. There might even be a machine in the waiting room you can use to measure your own blood pressure.
- Your local pharmacy. Some pharmacies offer blood pressure checks, and your pharmacist will also be able to point you in the direction of support and advice if you need it. They might also offer other health checks.
- Some workplaces. If your workplace has an occupational health department they might offer blood pressure checks. Ask your HR department or your employer what’s available.
- Some gyms and health clubs. Your gym, health club or leisure centre might offer blood pressure tests when you first join or start a new programme, or as part of a fitness assessment.
- Know Your Numbers! Week Pressure Stations. These are temporary blood pressure-testing stations that pop up every September for our annual awareness-raising campaign. You’ll find them in various locations including workplaces, health centres and shopping centres – find out more about Know Your Numbers! week.
- NHS Health Checks. These may be available if you’re 40-74 years old. They include other checks too, such as your blood cholesterol and if you’re a healthy weight, to give you an idea of your overall health. If you don’t get an invitation letter from your local surgery, you can call to arrange an appointment.
- Local community and health events. Local health teams set up free health checks from time to time, sometimes in a mobile unit or van. You might pass one by chance in any number of places: a library, shopping centre, hospital, university, place of worship, day centre, local council office or well-being fair, to name a few.
- Well man clinics. Specifically for men, these include a blood pressure test as part of an overall health check. They might be available in your GP surgery or hospital, or you can pay for one privately.