What Do The Numbers On My Blood Pressure Machine Mean?

A typical blood pressure reading may look like: 120/80 mmHg.

On its own it may seem a bit confusing as to what the numbers actually mean, or what a healthy or normal blood pressure reading looks like.

To break it down, the top number expresses the systolic pressure. It is the amount of pressure in your arteries during the contraction of your heart muscles.

The bottom number is referred to as your diastolic pressure, and represents your blood pressure when your heart is between beats.

The numbers reflect how hard your heart is working to pump blood to the rest of your body, and are both important factors when determining your overall health.

Top Number (Systolic): Bottom Number (Diastolic):
Normal: Below 120 And Below 80
Elevated: 120-129 And Below 80
Hypertension Stage 1: 130-139 Or 80-89
Hypertension Stage 2: 140 or Higher Or 90 or higher
Hypertensive Crisis: Above 180 And/Or Above 120

 

(Note: Hypertension stage 1 and 2 are considered high blood pressure)