What is normal Blood Pressure?

Here we explain what normal blood pressure means and suggest ways to make sure you are getting readings that reflect your true blood pressure.

Even though you have been told that your blood pressure is normal it is important to understand how changes to your blood pressure can happen and how you can help maintain a safe, normal blood pressure – please read the full information on the high blood pressure page and these pages about ways to help lower your blood pressure

For many “normal ” means the blood pressure readings that are recorded when they are relaxed – it is common to experience higher blood pressure readings because of what is called ‘white coat hypertension’ which is when a higher than normal blood pressure reading is taken because of the anxiety of having your blood pressure measured in a medical environment.

To overcome this effect many people now trust home blood pressure monitors and take their own measurements and that the readings they take at home reflect their normal blood pressure and they are happy to pass them on to their GP for accurate diagnosis.

Normal Blood Pressure – What the Numbers Mean

Normal blood pressure readings that is above 120 over 80 – 120/80, but below 140 over 90 140/90. If your blood pressure is within this range, you should still consider steps to lower your blood pressure further and certainly stop it rising any higher

Ideally people with normal blood pressure readings should aim to lower it because the higher your blood pressure, the higher your risk of health problems. For example, a blood pressure level of 130 over 80 – 130/80 may be normal but someone with this reading is twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke as someone with a reading of 115 over 75 – 115/75

A guide to blood pressure levels:

  • Less than 120/80mmHg – blood pressure is at the ‘optimal’ level so follow a healthy lifestyle to keep it that way
  • 121/81 – 129/84mmHg blood pressure is ‘average’ and you would benefit from lowering it
  • 130/85 – 139/89mmHg – blood pressure is on the ‘high side of normal’ and should be lowered
  • 140/90mmHg or above – if readings are consistently at or above this level you have ‘high’ blood pressure, take action now to lower it

Recently various studies showed that people who regularly measure their blood pressure at home found that the blood pressure readings were lower and considered to reflect their normal blood pressure.