Chapter 5: Blood Pressure

Healthy Behaviours

As part of your role, it is important to discuss healthy behaviours to prevent hypertension and reduce high blood pressure. As per Hypertension Canada (Rabi et al., 2002), the following healthy behaviours are recommended:

  • Moderate-intensity of exercise such as walking, biking, jogging, swimming for about 30 to 60 minutes per day for at least four days per week.
  • If relevant, weight reduction aiming for a BMI range of 18.5 to 24.9 and a waist circumference of less than 88 cm for females and less than 102 cm for males.
  • Diet with low sodium intake and rich in vegetables, fruits, plant-source proteins (reducing saturated fat and cholesterol), whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Abstaining from or reducing alcohol intake.
  • Stress management interventions.

These behaviours are important to maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. It is also important to consider health promotion as it relates to blood pressure from a relational and structural perspective. relational health promotion approach emphasizes social change at the relational level, meaning the relationships between people, places, environments, spaces, beliefs, meanings, and events. structural health promotion approach focuses on structural aspects of health and wellbeing. In other words, it addresses policies and practices that affect health at a broader community level, such as systemic discrimination. This approach to health promotion recognizes that broader social structures play an important role in health, and that one’s participation and access within a community are shaped by one’s social location. The goal is to dismantle the (often hidden) social processes that contribute to the maintenance of social exclusion and to actively promote health equity.

As such, you will want to discuss these healthy behaviours in the context of the client’s daily life and when needed, advocate on their behalf.


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Vital Sign Measurement Across the Lifespan – 2nd Canadian edition Copyright © 2018 by Ryerson University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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