Blood Pressure: Measure it, Control it, Live Longer

World Hypertension Day is on May 17, 2024.  The theme for this year is, “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer”, promoting increased awareness of high blood pressure and accuracy in blood pressure measurement, toward the control of hypertension related chronic diseases (e.g. stroke, CVD).

Blood pressure (BP) contains and is noted as two numbers, such as 120/80mmHg. The bigger number is known as systolic blood pressure and is the pressure in the arteries as the heart pumps out blood during each beat. The lesser number is known as diastolic blood pressure and is the pressure as the heart relaxes before the next beat. These recordings are an estimation of the pressure that our organs are exposed to.

High or unsafe BP is known as hypertension. Hypertension is described on a graded scale from mild to severe (see table below).


Blood Pressure CategorySystolic BP (mmHg)Diastolic BP (mmHg)
Grade 1 Hypertension (Mild)140—15990—99
Grade 2 Hypertension (Moderate)160—179100—109
Grade 3 Hypertension (Severe)≥180≥110



Hypertension is sometimes referred to as a ‘silent killer’ due to the fact that it may not cause any symptoms. Risk of damaging blood vessels, developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and chronic kidney disease is increased with hypertension, and comorbidities such as diabetes is often associated with high BP. When first diagnosed doctors usually prescribe lifestyle changes (e.g. diet and exercise) and/or medication for people with high BP to begin management.

The how and why of safe exercise in hypertension management (prevention and treatment):

  1. It is important to discuss starting an exercise program with your doctor
  2. Regular aerobic exercise has many benefits and helps protect against CVD
  3. Strength and isometric resistance training also produce measurable BP benefits.
  4. Exercise can reduce systolic BP by about 6-7mmHg
  5. Large scientific studies have found that a reduction in systolic BP of 5mmHg, deaths from coronary heart disease decrease by 9% and strokes decrease by 14%.
  6. A resting systolic BP of 180 mmHg or more, or a resting diastolic BP of 110 mmHg or more, exercise should be postponed and seek medical advice.

Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are university qualified professionals equipped with the advanced knowledge to design safe and effective exercise programs for people living with, or at risk of developing hypertension and related chronic health conditions.

Thorough evidence-based pre-screening and relevant fitness testing is conducted onsite at our state-of-the-art functional rehabilitation facility to gain an understanding of all the health conditions you are living with, how they impact your life and your current level of fitness. It may be recommended to start with supervised sessions at our facility under the experienced eye of our Accredited Exercise Physiologists, Nathan Walker or Scott Howard, or your program can be designed to be performed from home. We utilise a free exercise software program called Physitrack, which can be downloaded to your smart phone or tablet, which gives you the ability to message your therapist directly with feedback about your exercises.

If you want to exercise or know someone who does but aren’t sure how to get started, please book an appointment with one of our AEP’s today. They can help show you how to exercise at a safe and appropriate intensity to manage your hypertension and start enjoying the physical, mental and emotional benefits.


Book online here.


Sources and further reading:,Day%20on%20May%2017%2C%202024