120/80: What does your blood pressure say?

Image of person getting his blood pressure checked by a manual BP monitoring device

By Dr. Varun Gupta

The top number (systolic blood pressure) measures pressure in blood vessels when the heart beats (when heart contracts).

The bottom number (Diastolic blood pressure) measures pressure in blood vessels in between heartbeats (when heart is resting).

Normal BP means values less than 120/80 mm Hg (120 systolic AND 80 diastolic) for adults aged 20 or over.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is when blood pressure is constantly at or above 140/90.

Systolic blood pressure is more important than diastolic blood pressure.


It is a common misconception that people with high blood pressure will have headache, sweating, nervousness or chest pain. The truth is that there are typically no symptoms.

High BP can have serious health consequences if not diagnosed and treated on time.

How is High BP diagnosed?

  • 25 % of urban Indians have high blood pressure. Everyone above 20 years of age should get their BP tested at least once a year
  • A single high reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. If it stays higher than 140/90 over a period of time then it is diagnosed as high BP.
  • When using digital BP monitor, take an average of three readings, at intervals of 2-3 minutes.
  • Avoid smoking, tea, coffee or exercise at least 30 minutes before measuring BP.
  • BP should be measured in a sitting position with arm supported at heart level.

Risk Factors

  • Family history
  • Males
  • Advanced Age
  • Smoking
  • Excessive Alcohol consumption
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive Salt intake
  • Overweight
  • Stress

Tips to lower BP:

  • Salt restriction (< 6gm/day) can lower the systolic blood pressure by 2-8 mmHg.
  • Weight loss of even 4.5 kg can reduce blood pressure. The systolic BP can reduce by 5-20 mm Hg per 10 kg weight loss
  • Physical activity: 30-45 minutes of brisk walking 3-4 times a week could lower Systolic BP by 7-8 mm Hg.
  • Yoga & Meditation
  • Diet: Diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products can lower the systolic BP by 8-14 mmHg.
  • Potassium rich foods like Amla, Oranges, Banana, Papaya, Cabbage, Bhindi lower BP.

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53 thoughts on “120/80: What does your blood pressure say?

      1. drvarun1

        Dear Mr Sharma thanks for your feedback. We will post info on Low BP very soon.
        Dr Varun


    In fact I have been thinking of knowing about BP since some time past. Thank you. It is very informative.

  2. jijo jacob

    Hai my Bp is constantly over at 100/150. I am not taking any drugs. Is it a worry for me or i have to take medicine for bp to control it downc. Your advice will bevaluable for me . and i am 32 year old male??

    1. adarsh

      Use homeopathic medicine the name of the medicine is rolvfiva serpentina its have good result with no side effect and avoide fatty and salty things

    1. Dr Varun Gupta

      Dear Mr Thakhar thanks for your feedback. We will post info on Pulmonary hypertension very soon.

  3. Rajendra

    Very useful article, after recording 3- 4 times (though occasionally) 135+/90 before 4 years my Dr. Prescribed me Olmesar 20 / 40 since then its 120/80

  4. Muralidhar

    Your articles are very useful. Pl. send your articles to my email address also. Pl. make provision for refering your all old and new posts in your website.

  5. Jaysing Dagadu Khadtare

    I like this instrument. Now a days it is very necessrry to everybody.I think everyone has such instrument at their home.

  6. sk singh

    Hello. I want to buy few medicines from yr.app.tried through my mob.but couldnot success so pl help and suggest. Thanks. S.k.singh mob.9818568886

  7. manoj agrawal

    मेरा BP 140+/90 रहता हैं. मै TELSAR A 80
    लेता हूँ. पहले मेर BP 155+/100 रहता था. मै एक माह से सुबह खली पेट 1.25lt. पानी पीता हूँ तब से मेरा BP कम हो रहा हैं.

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  9. G.Gopal

    Very useful information one has to follow to keep their health,instead of going to causality.

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