Blood pressure measurement is a routine part of having a physical examination. A measuring device called a sphygmomanometer gives a blood pressure reading as systolic pressure (the higher figure) when the heart contracts and diastolic pressure when the heart relaxes. A healthy young adult has a blood pressure of about 120/80 mmHg. Your blood pressure may be taken when you are sitting, standing, or lying down.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.