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Know Your Numbers! Week goes in search of those who donít know their blood pressure numbers
Our recent survey found that two thirds of Brits are missing out on one of the simplest ways to prevent heart attacks and strokes, and we set out to change that
Know Your Numbers! Week is the nation’s biggest blood pressure testing and awareness event, where we go out in search of those who have high blood pressure and don’t know it. It’s our annual flagship campaign.
Our recent survey found that two thirds of the country still don’t know their numbers, making this year’s one of our most important and timely campaigns. And it was one of our biggest and brightest yet.
The nation’s health professionals got behind the campaign
We were overwhelmed with support this year. Hundreds of health professionals and pharmacists set up pop-up venues known as Pressure Stations to offer free blood pressure checks to unsuspecting passers-by. They teamed up to give people the chance to understand their health, explaining the simple steps you can take to lower your blood pressure and prevent illnesses later on.
Everybody Leisure made a huge effort with their eye-catching displays in their gyms around the country. And Knowlsey Council, Swindon Borough Council, One You Merton and Portsmouth’s Discipleship Church blew us away with their colourful campaigns.
We kicked off the week by measuring the blood pressures of 100 of the construction industry’s heavy hitters at the Image of Construction event in London this September, run by Considerate Constructors Scheme. CEOs, directors and managers queued up to see us at our Blood Pressure UK stand. Many wanted lifestyle advice and we were delighted to oblige, making the most of our newly-designed leaflets.
We had our posters put up in motorway service stations washrooms during Know Your Numbers! Week and the week before to encourage people to go and get their blood pressure checked.
Public Health England’s One You team made a special graphic to promote their Heart Age tool during Know Your Numbers! Week. Once you know your blood pressure numbers, you can use this simple online calculator to find out how your heart age compares to your actual age. It gives you a good idea of how healthy your heart is, and the changes you can make for a healthier heart.
Know Your Numbers! Week trended on twitter
We trended on Twitter again this year with our hashtag #KnowYourNumbers. Our poster was seen by over 21,000 people on Twitter – our most successful poster on the social media site yet.
We had some fantastic feedback for this year’s campaign
“Hemini, thank you for everything with the Know Your Numbers! campaign, great week as always.”
Lucy Bourne – Everybody Sport and Recreation
“The campaign was again very well received by our staff and residents and we’ll look forward to working with you again next year.”
Cheshire East Council
“We thoroughly enjoyed this week. We really enjoyed doing the 1-2-1 sessions with members of the public and it was nice to meet a variety of people and interact with them. Feedback was really positive and we wanted this campaign to run for more than one week.”
Victoria Lockett – Eaglebridge Health and Wellbeing Centre
“This KYN week was a success in terms of making staff aware of the risks of high blood pressure to anyone. We had young and old, overweight and slim – those who didn't expect to have high blood pressure were mostly young and slim. It was a great event. Looking forward to participating again next year.”
Amy Althorpe – Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
A huge thank you goes to all those who took part, hosting Pressure Stations, talking about the event or raising awareness of high blood pressure.
Blood pressure still isn’t a priority for many
Our recent survey of 2000 UK adults revealed that there’s still a lot of misunderstandings around blood pressure, and it’s simply not a major health concern for many.
- Two thirds (64%) don’t know their blood pressure numbers, so they’re missing out on one of the simplest ways to look after their health.
- 16% think that a healthy blood pressure readings is 130/80mmHg, when it fact this is on the high side, an ideal reading is under 120mmHg.
- A quarter (26.7%) would prioritise going out with friends over having a blood pressure test, 15% would rather watch TV and 10% would choose to watch football instead.
- Four out of ten (39%) are more worried about other health problems. For many, high blood pressure simply isn’t a concern.
- Two thirds (66%) don’t own a monitor. And 16% only trust their GP to measure their blood pressure, but validated monitors have been tried and tested to make sure they’re giving accurate readings. So many are missing a trick in looking after their health.
- One in five (19%) thought that people in their 30s should worry about their blood pressure. But high blood pressure and the problems it causes such as stroke are becoming more and more common in your 30s, 40s and 50s, so adults of all ages should get a blood pressure test.
Why we want everyone to get a blood pressure check and to invest in a home monitor
High blood pressure is known as the silent killer – it doesn’t have any symptoms but can go on to cause a heart attack or stroke. It’s very common, one in three people have it. It’s also one of the easiest conditions to diagnose and treat, and keeping an eye on your numbers at home can make all the difference.
We called for all families to invest in a blood pressure monitor, and for government subsidies for people who are most likely to develop health problems and those with low incomes.
This would save over £1 billion per year in healthcare costs, as there are still 6.5 million people with high blood pressure who don’t know it, who could go on to have a heart attack or stroke because of their blood pressure.
Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of Blood Pressure UK says: “High blood pressure kills thousands of people every year in the UK and is almost entirely preventable. It’s imperative that everyone, including children, has their blood pressure taken at least once a year, and more regularly if it’s a high reading, in consultation with their GP.”
Hemini Bharadia, Know Your Numbers Week! Campaign Manager explained: “High blood pressure does not discriminate on age or gender – people are dying unnecessarily because they fail to take such simple steps to reduce their blood pressure. Know Your Numbers! Week is the perfect opportunity to have your blood pressure taken for free and put you in control of your health.”