BSIP LAURENT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP LAURENT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure equipment. A sphygmomanometer - the device used to measure blood pressure. The sphygmomanometer consists of an inflatable cuff (folded), a hand pump (top) and a pressure gauge. The cuff is inflated around the upper arm until it cuts off blood flow. The air pressure inside it at this point corresponds to the pressure during a heart beat. The cuff is then deflated just until blood flow resumes, giving a reading corresponding to blood pressure between heartbeats. Blood pressure is an important measure of health and fitness. An average reading for a healthy young adult at rest is 120/80 mmHg (expressed in millimetres of mercury).
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