You can get a blood pressure reading with various blood pressure monitors. These include a wrist monitor, an ambulatory blood pressure monitor, or the good old fashioned kind complete with inflatable ball and mercury bubble. No matter which monitor you use, however, a normal blood pressure reading will always fall within a certain range.

Normal Reading

To understand what makes up a normal blood pressure reading, it’s important to know what blood pressure is. The heart pumps blood through the four heart chambers and into major arteries that transport blood throughout the body via the circulatory system. Each time the heart muscle contracts, it creates pressure known as systolic blood pressure. This pressure is measured to produce the first numbers got through a blood pressure reading. When the heart muscle relaxes, between beats, is the moment that systolic blood pressure can be measured.

For most healthy people, blood pressure falls within a certain range. Those who suffer from stress, high cholesterol or obesity often have increased heart rates that are known as high blood pressure. On the other end of the range, some people also suffer from low blood pressure, but this is almost always because of illness or blood loss. Extremely low blood pressure can cause shock and in the end, death.

Blood Pressure Range

A normal blood pressure reading almost always falls within the 120 to 130 beats per minute range. If someone is in excellent physical condition, the heart rate will beat at 120 or less beats per minute, systolic pressure. The diastolic pressure in a normal blood pressure reading will be between 80 -90 beats per minute. You may see a normal blood pressure reading written as 124/84, for example.

An even better normal blood pressure reading is anything under 120 and less than 80, like 118/78, for example. This reading points to the normal blood pressure reading of a normal, active adult. Some adults have blood pressure readings that are a little higher than normal for the general population, but not for them. A high, though still normal blood pressure reading, may measure from 130-139 for systolic pressure to 85-89 for diastolic.

Blood Pressure in Children

Children will display different blood pressure readings. A normal blood pressure reading for young children, those between 3 and 5 for example, are around 116/76. A young teenager may show a normal blood pressure reading of around 136/86. Children between these ages can show a normal blood pressure reading of between 122 and 136 for systolic pressure and 78-90 diastolic pressures.

Something to remember is that children have normal blood pressures in ranges that are lower than adults. But even so, a child is at as much risk of developing high blood pressure as an adult if lacking proper diet and exercise. High risk children also include those suffering from medical conditions or those taking medications that may raise blood pressure.

Remember that no one’s blood pressure is always the same. Sometimes, readings showing a high blood pressure may result from stress, illness or even anger. Knowing what a normal blood pressure reading is will help you see blood pressure readings that are not so normal.