Whether you go to a private doctor for a check up or to the hospital for whatever reason, one of the first things that will be done is a check of your blood pressure. Whether you have been diagnosed with hypertension or not, this check is very important because if you have hypertension, this will check to see how well you are handling your pressure. If you do not have hypertension this check will tell you if you need to start paying attention to your pressure or you can continue with your life as it was. You need to know how to measure hypertension and you need to know what the figures mean. How can I find out this important information.

The Hypertension Chart

Most doctors, physicians and even pharmacist have what is called a Hypertension chart posted in their office. This chart is used together with a machine that reads your blood pressure that is called a sphygmomanometer. This machine is strapped to your arm and gives out a reading. This reading is then cross-referenced with the Hypertension Chart which will indicate your blood pressure levels. There are many variations of this chart, however here is an example of one of these charts:


Based on the above chart, there are some terminology that you should be aware of so next time you see your blood pressure reading, you will know what’s going on. The first terminology we will be looking at is systolic mm Pressure.

Systolic Pressure is the pressure by which the heart pumps the blood in the arteries. When you see your blood pressure reading from the doctor, this would be the figure on top. It tends to be a higher figure or measurement from the lower figure. Let’s say for example, your blood pressure reading was 122/81, then 122 would signify the Systolic Pressure. The ideal reading for this figure should about 120 mm Hg.

Diastolic Pressure is the second terminology that we will be looking at. This is pressure in the arteries as the heart rests between beats. This is usually the time when the heart gets supplied with blood and oxygen. This reading is known as the lower reading. From the example given above, lets say that your blood pressure is 122/81, then 81 would be the Diastolic Pressure. The ideal reading for this figure should be about 80 mm Hg


Blood Pressure Categories

From the table shown above, it can be seen that there are five (5) categories of blood pressure. They are:

  1. Normal: This is the recommended level that your blood pressure should be, where the systolic pressure should be less that 120 mm Hg and diastolic pressure is less that 80 mm Hg. If you are here then you have an excellent blood pressure.
  2. Elevated: This is not that bad but it is a cause for concern. This is also the best time to change your life style and eating habits before things get worst. The systolic pressure is usually between 120 to 129 mm Hg and diastolic pressure is less that 80 mm Hg.
  3. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension Stage One): As mentioned, this is the beginning stage of hypertension. This is also where things start to get serious. At this stage the systolic pressure is between 130 to 139 mm Hg and diastolic pressure between 80 to 89 mm Hg. At this stage, doctors will suggest life style changes and may prescribe medication
  4. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension Stage Two): things are even worst at this stage. The systolic pressure is now 140 mm Hg or higher and diastolic pressure is now 90 mm Hg or higher. At this stage doctors will prescribe medication and insist on life style changes.
  5. Hypertensive Crisis: This is where things get extremely bad and will require you to get to the hospital immediately. The systolic pressure is higher than 180 mm Hg and diastolic pressure is higher than 120 mm Hg. Pressure this high can lead to organ damage and possible death.

Taking Your Blood Pressure Serious.

It is now up to you to take your blood pressure and your health serious. Talking from experience, I don’t think I took it serious enough, and now I am in between stage one and stage two. I remember when I was at elevated, and my pharmacist told me to get my pressure under control. However I was consumed with work, and didn’t pay it much attention, now i am forced to pay it attention. To everyone out there, don’t make the same mistakes I made. Take your pressure seriously. It could be keeping up and you don’t even know until its extremely late.

Understanding the Measurements

I hope this article shed some light on how to measure hypertension and knowing what the figures mean. If you have any comments, thoughts or views, don’t be afraid to leave a comment and I will reply as soon as I am able.

Please feel free to leave a comment, feedback or suggestion on this article and Let’s share thoughts, experiences and opinions on this topic so we can help those who are affected by this issue.






  1. I’m going to get my physical soon, this is very helpful. I didn’t realize the different levels. Honestly, I wish they would just have this up on the wall at the doctor’s office.

  2. Hi Derval,

    Great information you brought in the article. The chart is very comprehensive. I am a promoter of natural health, and I think the chart should be a poster hung on every doctor’s office. Maybe I am the one missing it?

    • Hello Thierry,
      I agree with you about this chart being posted on the walls of every doctors office as i know it will be beneficial for everyone. I made the suggestion to my doctor the last time i went there and gave her a link to he website. Promoting health is definitely the way to go.

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