This ‘Know Your Numbers Week’, Medigold Health provided employees in our UK offices the opportunity to have a free health assessment to make sure we all know our numbers and, more importantly, what those numbers mean.
During the assessment, employees had their blood pressure checked, their height and weight recorded to calculate their BMI, and their waist measurement taken.
Blood pressure – what do the numbers mean?
Your blood pressure is a measure of the force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body and the pressure exerted by the blood against the walls of your arteries as it travels through them. Having raised or high blood pressure puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, increasing your risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vascular dementia and many other health problems.
Blood pressure is measured in mmHg and readings are written as two numbers, for example 140 over 90 (140/90mmHg, or 140/90).
The top number is your systolic blood pressure (the highest pressure, when your heart beats and pushes the blood round your body).
The bottom number is your diastolic blood pressure (the lowest pressure, when your heart relaxes between beats).
If your blood pressure reading is:
- 90/60 or less: you may have low blood pressure
- more than 90/60 but less than 120/80: your blood pressure reading is ideal and healthy
- more than 120/80 but less than 140/90: you have normal blood pressure but it is a little higher than it should be, so you should try to lower it
- 140/90 or higher (over a number of weeks): you may have high blood pressure (hypertension)
Download your free blood pressure information sheet here.
BMI and understanding your results
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure for checking if your weight is appropriate for your height and is calculated by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in metres) squared. BMI is separated into the following categories by range:
You can find out your Body Mass Index by using this handy BMI calculator from NHS Choices.
Generally, the higher your BMI, the greater your risk of a number of serious medical problems.
You can also use the height/weight chart to check whether you’re a healthy weight (this is only suitable for men and women over the age of 18).
Why waist size also matters
Measuring your waist is a good way to check you’re not carrying too much fat around your stomach, which can raise your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.
You can have a healthy BMI and still have excess tummy fat, meaning you’re still at risk of developing these conditions.
To measure your waist:
- find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips
- wrap a tape measure around your waist midway between these points
- breathe out naturally before taking the measurement
Regardless of your height or BMI, you should try to lose weight if your waist is:
- 94cm (37ins) or more for men
- 80cm (31.5ins) or more for women
You’re at very high risk and should contact your GP if your waist is:
- 102cm (40ins) or more for men
- 88cm (34ins) or more for women
Download your free Waist Measurements guide.