Home Health Free blood pressure checks during ‘Know your Numbers’ week
Blood pressure Uk graphic

Free blood pressure checks during ‘Know your Numbers’ week

by Cathy Sheel

Do you know your blood pressure numbers? If not, then have your blood pressure checked for free during Know Your Numbers week (4 – 10 September).

‘Know your Numbers’ is a week-long campaign from Blood Pressure UK (BPUK) that raises awareness of the health risks of high blood pressure, encouraging adults to have a blood pressure check. A blood pressure check is quick and painless and could save your life.

The theme for 2023 is ‘Make the time, ease your pressure’ encouraging people to make the time to check your blood pressure.

Blood pressure is a measure of your blood as it is pumped around the body. It can be low, normal or high. High blood pressure rarely has noticeable symptoms, but if left untreated it increases your risk of developing serious health problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

Where can I have my blood pressure checked?

Knowsley Public Health, in partnership with Volair, has arranged a series of blood pressure check sessions at leisure centres across the borough during the week. The sessions are at:

Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park, Huyton: Monday 4 Sept, 8.30am-10.30am; Thursday 7 Sept, 4pm -6pm

Kirkby Leisure Centre: Wednesday 6 Sept, 9.30am -11.30am & 4.30pm – 6.00pm

Stockbridge Village Neighbourhood Centre: Tuesday 5 Sept 10am-12.00pm & 3.30pm -5.30pm

Halewood Leisure Centre: Thursday 7 Sept, 10am -12.00pm

Prescot Soccer Centre: Friday 8 Sept, 1.30pm -3.30pm

Many local pharmacies are also offering free checks and you can also have your blood pressure checked in your GP surgery or use a home testing kit. You can do this at any time of the year – not just during Know Your Numbers week!

How can I lower my blood pressure?

 Blood pressure can be lowered by changes to your lifestyle and if necessary taking medication as directed by your doctor.

Top tips for reducing your blood pressure include:

  1. Cut down on salt – Don’t add it when cooking or at the table. Check food labels for salt content and avoid processed foods high in salt. Aim to eat less than a level teaspoon (6g) a day.
  2. Eat well – with plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least five different portions every day will help.  Find out more at Knowsley Public Health (healthyknowsley.co.uk)
  3. Keep active – that doesn’t have to mean the gym, how about a regular walk? 30 minutes five times a week is ideal, but just do what you can to build activity as part of everyday life. If you are unsure about becoming more active, ask your GP.
  4. Drink less alcohol – a glass of wine or a pint of lager is 2-3 units. To keep health risks low, men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week on a regular basis and no more than two to three units per day, spread over three days or more.
  5. Stop smoking – you can get support from https://www.smokefreeknowsley.org.uk/

Cllr Christine Bannon, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Health said: “High blood pressure is one of the most preventable and treatable conditions but remains one of the leading causes of death. Having your blood pressure checked is the most important step that you can take to reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure.

“With the everyday pressures of life, we know that knowing your blood pressure numbers and taking the time to get them measured isn’t always a priority. That’s why the message encouraging people to take the time to have a blood pressure check is so important.”

If you are registered with a Knowsley GP and are aged between 40 and 74, you can also sign up for a free NHS health check which looks at your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and stroke.

The simple check includes taking your blood pressure, measuring your cholesterol by a simple finger-prick test, as well as talking about your family history and your current lifestyle. Telephone your GP surgery to make an appointment.

Other helpful information can be found at: www.happy-hearts.co.uk

For local help and support visit the Healthy Knowsley website at https://www.healthyknowsley.co.uk/