SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure measurement. Man having his blood pressure taken by a general practice doctor. Blood pressure is measured using a sphygmomanometer. The doctor is listening to his blood flow with a stethoscope (silver, below blue cuff). The arm cuff is inflated by a pump in the doctor's hand until blood flow stops. Next the cuff is relaxed until normal flow resumes. The reading on the dial (at lower right) at this point corresponds to the diastolic pressure, which occurs when the heart is relaxed. The reading here is 84, a healthy diastolic pressure. The systolic pressure, when the heart is contracting, is also measured. Blood pressure is an important measure of fitness.
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