Staying healthy on the job is important not only to you but to those you work with. Did you know that one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure? And because there are usually “no symptoms,” nearly one-third don’t even know they have it. In fact, many people have high blood pressure for years without knowing it.

High blood pressure directly increases your risk of coronary heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke, especially when combined with other risk factors. Even if you feel fine, keep your goal of less than 140/90 mmHg in mind. A blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher can damage blood vessels and make your heart work harder. The only way to know you have high blood pressure is to have it checked.

Blood pressure chart

<120/80 | Desired
120-139/90-89 | Pre-hypertension
≥140/90 | Hypertension (high blood pressure)

What causes high blood pressure?

Several factors and conditions may play a role:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Too much salt in the diet
  • Too much alcohol (Greater than one to two drinks per day)
  • Stress
  • Older age
  • Genetics
  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Adrenal and thyroid disorders

What can I do to lower my high blood pressure?

Several  factors and conditions may play a role in lowering your blood pressure:

  • Avoid using tobacco
  • Maintain a health weight
  • Move more each day
  • Eat less salt (aim for 1,500 to 2,000 mg per day)
  • Practice deep breathing exercises each day
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get a good night’s sleep (7-8 hours per night)

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