10 Causes of Hypertension

High blood pressure is known as hypertension, and it can play a role in the hardening of your arteries and increase your risk of stroke, kidney disease, heart failure, and eye problems. While the exact causes of hypertension are unknown, there are things you can do to help lower your blood pressure if it’s high. Check out these 10 factors that contribute to high blood pressure.

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Normal blood pressure is about 120 over 80. The first (top) number indicates the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats, while the second (bottom) number indicates the pressure between beats.

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Sedentary lifestyle

Asian Businesswoman working on laptop at her desk at the office.

If you spend many hours of your day seated in front of a computer, watching television, or sitting in the car, you could be at risk for hypertension due to inactivity. Those who are inactive on a daily basis tend to have higher heart rates than those who lead active lives—this means their hearts work harder. However, exercising releases hormones that relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Regular exercise (about 30 minutes a day, a few times a week), as well as working small bits of activity into your daily routine can lower blood pressure. Even standing instead of sitting at your desk can help.

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