Council Promotes Free Blood Pressure Tests As Part Of Know Your Numbers! Week

Swindon Borough Council is urging local residents to get their blood pressure checked for free as part of national Know Your Numbers Week, the UK’s biggest blood pressure testing event held at ‘Pressure Stations’ around the country from 10th – 16th September 2018.

Volunteers hosting the Pressure Station will provide information and advice on simple steps to keep blood pressure under control and will measure your blood pressure accurately.

This comes as charity Blood Pressure UK cautions that ignoring health warning, particularly about poor diet and excess salt intake, is leading more people to develop high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This can put people at risk of having an early stroke, especially when they don’t know their blood pressure numbers.

With unhealthy lifestyles and poor diet contributing to more people in their 30s, 40s and 50s being diagnosed with hypertension, around one in three people in the UK are now living with high blood pressure, with 6.5 million people still remaining undiagnosed.

Key risk factors for developing high blood pressure are eating too much salt, not enough fruit and vegetables, being overweight and not enough exercise.

Cllr Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, said: “Having high blood pressure now could lead to health problems like having a heart attack, stroke or developing certain types of dementia in the future. 

“However, if detected, high blood pressure can be easily treated, thereby reducing your risk of these problems. I’d encourage you to visit one of our Pressure Stations next week and get your blood pressure checked.”

You can speak to your local pharmacy about getting your blood pressure checked or Swindon Borough Council is also offering free checks as follows:

  • Monday 10th September from 11am – 2pm at Swindon Borough Council One Stop Shop (Wat Tyler House, Beckhampton Street, Swindon, SN1 2JH)
  • Tuesday 11th September from 11am – 2pm at the Great Western Hospital Atrium (Marlborough Road, Swindon, SN3 6BB)
  • Thursday 13th September from 10am – 12pm at Broadgreen Community Centre (Salisbury St, Swindon SN1 2AN)
  • Friday 14th September from 11am – 2pm at Great Western Hospital Atrium (Marlborough Road, Swindon SN3 6BB)

For further information on Blood Pressure UK and to find your nearest check, visit:

About Blood Pressure UK

Blood Pressure UK is the UK’s leading blood pressure charity working to lower the nation’s blood pressure to prevent disability and death from stroke and heart disease. The charity provides information and support for people with high blood pressure and raises awareness to prevent the condition. Blood Pressure UK is the operating name of the Blood Pressure Association, charity reg. 1058944.

Facts About Blood Pressure From Blood Pressure UK:

  • High blood pressure has no obvious signs or symptoms. The only way to find out if you have the condition is to have a blood pressure check.
  • Untreated high blood pressure is the major risk factor for strokes, heart attacks and heart failure. It is also a major risk factor for kidney disease and dementia.
  • A healthy blood pressure is a level 120/80mmHg or less
  • A blood pressure of 121/81mmHg to 139/89mmHg is on the high side and lifestyle changes such as eating less salt, more fruit and veg and losing weight if necessary should be advised.
  • If readings are consistent at or above 140/90mmHg, high blood pressure is diagnosed, and action should be taken to lower it by leading a healthier lifestyle, and if necessary, by taking medication as directed by your doctor.

Blood Pressure UK’s Top Five Tips For A Healthy Blood Pressure:

  • Cut down on Salt – Reducing your salt intake is the quickest way to lower your blood pressure. Don’t add it when cooking or at the table, avoid using stock cubes, gravy and soy sauce, check food labels and avoid processed food high in salt – aim to eat less than 6g a day.
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least five different portions every day.
  • Watch your weight – Try to reach the right weight for your height
  • Exercise regularly – That doesn’t have to mean the gym, how about a regular lunchtime walk? 30 minutes five times a week is ideal. If you are unsure about taking up exercise, ask your GP.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation – Up to 14 units a week for both men and women – a glass or a pint of beer is 2-3 units.