What is May Measurement Month?

25 February, 2020

Each May is designated by the International Society for Hypertension as ‘May Measurement Month’. As well as being a great piece of alliteration, it’s also an incredibly important month in the health and wellbeing calendar.

So, what exactly is May Measurement Month, why is it important, and what can you do to get involved? We answer all of these questions and more below, so keep reading to find out!

 

What is May Measurement Month?

In case the clue in the organiser’s name above didn’t give it away, May Measurement Month is all about blood pressure – high blood pressure, to be precise.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious condition that affects more than one in four adults worldwide. In the UK, it’s the third biggest risk factor contributing to premature death after smoking and poor diet. Safe to say, high blood pressure is a big problem.

May Measurement Month is an awareness campaign aimed primarily at encouraging people around the world to get their blood pressure tested, but also about raising awareness around the topic.

 

Why is May Measurement Month important?

As we’ve mentioned, one in four adults worldwide have high blood pressure, and this statistic is also true for just UK too. What’s really alarming, though, is the lack of awareness. According to Public Health England, for every ten people that are diagnosed with high blood pressure, a further seven remain undiagnosed and untreated. There are no obvious symptoms of high blood pressure, so you could be walking around with elevated numbers and have no idea. All the time your heart and arteries could be suffering serious damage.

So what happens if high blood pressure is left untreated? Primarily, high blood pressure will put a strain on your cardiovascular system which can lead to conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. In fact, over half of all heart attacks and strokes are associated with high blood pressure, and it’s also a major risk factor for chronic kidney disease, heart failure and dementia.

 

What can be done about high blood pressure?

The good news about high blood pressure is that it is very treatable. Some people can reduce blood pressure through some simple lifestyle changes. According to the NHS, blood pressure can be reduced by:

  • Reducing salt intake.
  • Eating a balanced diet.
  • Being more active.
  • Reducing alcohol intake.
  • Losing weight.
  • Reducing caffeine intake.
  • Stopping smoking.

For some people, lifestyle changes won’t be enough, and medication may be required also. There are a number of factors that can affect whether a person has high blood pressure or not. Some can be controlled, such as those above, and there are other factors that can’t be controlled such as age, race, gender and family history.

 

How can you get involved in May Measurement Month?

So, now that you know all about May Measurement Month, what can you do to get people talking about their blood pressure and getting it tested? There are a lot of free resources as well as information available from organisations like the British Heart Foundation, Blood Pressure UK, and even May Measurement Month themselves.

On the practical side of things, the obvious answer is to encourage your employees to get their blood pressure checked. This can be done through:

  • GP surgeries.
  • Some pharmacies.
  • Through the NHS Health Check (for over 40s).
  • Many workplaces also offer workplace-based testing through occupational health.

If you want to give your colleagues the opportunity to get their blood pressure tested in the workplace but don’t have facilities and equipment, or want a different approach, an Employee Health Check may be the right option for you.

Here at New Leaf Health, we offer workplace-based blood pressure testing for organisations of all sizes, which can be combined with either full body composition testing (fat and muscle levels, BMI, metabolic rate etc.) or cholesterol and blood glucose testing – or both together. These awareness days are supported by an experienced health practitioner who will offer lifestyle advice and guidance to help you improve your results, and will also be able to offer referrals if you’re in need of further testing.

To find out more about our Health Check Point or Health Screening days, call us on 01384 877855 or email enquiries@newleafhealth.co.uk.

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