Blood pressure: when is it high and when is it normal?

Heart rate and blood pressure are undoubtedly among the most important parameters to keep under control. If you have any doubts, the first piece of advice is to consult your doctor

However, in recent years it has become increasingly easy to measure blood pressure and heart rate independently, thanks to wellness apps that can be downloaded directly onto your smartphone.

What is heart rate

Heart rate and blood pressure are different parameters, and it is important to be able to distinguish between them.

When we talk about heart rate, we are referring to the number of pulsations (or beats) made every minute by the heart, which contracts to allow blood to circulate in the body.

The usual heart rate of a healthy person should be between 55/60 beats per minute and 100 beats per minute: a higher value is tachycardia, and a lower value is bradycardia.

Over time, there may be a progressive increase in heart rate, but this is not a cause for concern as it is within the expected range.

Blood pressure: What are the normal values?

The term ‘pressure’ refers to the intensity with which the blood flows through the vessels.

A pressure considered normal is between 100 and 120 mmHg (millimetres of mercury) at the highest and 75-80 mmHg at the lowest.

The most effective methods of measuring heart rate and blood pressure

The main instrument used to measure heart rate is the electrocardiogram.

Of course, it is also possible to feel your heartbeat on your own, using the so-called “carotid pulse”, i.e. lightly compressing one side of your neck with the thumb or forefinger of one hand, or placing the fingers of one hand on the opposite wrist and making a light compression.

To measure blood pressure, on the other hand, the sphygmomanometer is mainly used, but other useful instruments can also be found on the market.

In addition, for several years now there have been a series of apps that can be downloaded to your smartphone to measure heart rate and blood pressure.

Apps for measuring heart rate and blood pressure

The arrival of smartwatches on the market is one more way to keep an eye on your health.

With heart rate and blood pressure monitors, but also systems for monitoring steps and physical activity, sleep, calorie consumption and the regularity of the menstrual cycle, it has become much easier to have immediate access to these parameters.

Smartwatch apps could, in time, become true medical monitoring tools, allowing specialists to monitor the health of patients affected by certain clinical conditions or diseases on a daily basis. This is the case, for example, with pregnant women, whose vital parameters can be monitored for both mother and foetus.

The latest generation of smartphones even make it possible to perform an electrocardiogram and are programmed to send an emergency signal to the nearest medical facility when they detect arrhythmias.

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