|Blood pressure is the force that the blood exerts on the veins and arteries while it circulates through the body. We express the measurement of blood pressure as a ratio, such as 120/80 mmHg. The first number is the pressure exerted when blood is pumped into the arteries as the heart muscle contracts (systolic pressure). The second number is the pressure exerted on the arteries while the heart muscle relaxes (diastolic pressure).
In a healthy individual, this blood pressure reading is usually around 120/80 mmHg while at rest, although the reading fluctuates throughout the day and continues to change depending on a multitude of factors such as activity level, temperature, diet, emotional or physical state, and the use of various medications.
Having your blood pressure checked regularly is important, as blood pressure readings are a good diagnostic tool and can be strong indicators of health, illness or disease.