Home // Blog Articles // Prevention // Optimal Blood Pressure for Men (and Giraffes)

Optimal Blood Pressure for Men (and Giraffes)

by | Aug 13, 2020 | Prevention

With their super-sized necks, it’s no surprise that giraffes are the tallest mammals on Earth. But did you know that giraffes also hold the world record for having the highest blood pressure of any living animal?

The more you know about blood pressure, the more impressive that fun fact becomes. You’ve probably seen those cop shows where a paramedic bursts into the emergency room with a patient on a stretcher shouting, “Blood pressure 90-over-60 and dropping fast!” But unless you’re a real-life medical professional, chances are you don’t know what this means.

Understand blood pressure, however, and cop shows AND giraffes suddenly become much cooler! Here’s the scoop:

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is a measure of how much force your heart is using to pump blood around your body. Your blood pressure can vary throughout the day, and change from day to day. It can also change according to your activity levels, posture and emotions. These changes are no big deal if your blood pressure is within a healthy range — normal blood pressure for men: 120-over-80 or thereabouts.

What do those two numbers mean? The first one is known as your systolic blood pressure. This measures the force of the blood against your artery walls when it’s at its highest. The second number is your diastolic blood pressure. It measures the blood pressure when the heart relaxes, and the force of the blood is at its lowest.

So when that cop-show paramedic yells “90-over-60!”, you know the patient is fighting for his life!

Why should I care about blood pressure?

An overly high blood pressure — a.k.a hypertension — is not very good news. When it stays above 140-over-90, it can cause strokes, heart attacks, and heart and kidney failure. It may also be related to dementia and sexual problems. The good news: These issues can be prevented if high blood pressure is controlled.

How to lower blood pressure

Talk to a doctor: A doctor needs to check your blood pressure at least once every two years. In between those appointments, many pharmacies have blood pressure machines you can use to track your own BP for free. Give them a try — although they shouldn’t replace a doctor’s visit.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle: A four-part plan can work wonders here. Part 1: Eat a balanced diet that includes more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and salt. Part 2: Maintain healthy body weight. If you are overweight, losing even a modest amount of weight can help reduce your blood pressure. Part 3: Limit your alcohol intake to 1 or 2 drinks per day. And last but not least: learn how to keep stress under control.

So what about giraffes?

The long-necked animal’s record-setting blood pressure — 280-over-180 — is more than DOUBLE that of humans. For a good reason: It takes a lot of force to get blood from their hearts to their brains when the two organs are separated by around two metres! That’s why giraffe hearts, at about 11 kilograms, are the largest of any land mammal.

Now you’re WAY ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding blood pressure AND giraffe anatomy! Useful and useless facts, together at last…

Do you have an awesome animal fun fact you’d like to share? Go right ahead in the comments below!

This article was originally published on February 6, 2019.

Are you trying to get a handle on your health? If so, we’ve got your back!

Download the free “Men’s Maintenance Guide” ebook right now.

Adam Bisby
Adam Bisby

Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two who has been covering men’s health for more than 20 years. As well as researching and blogging for Don’t Change Much since 2015, Adam’s award-winning work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines such as Explore, Reader’s Digest and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN and Toronto.com. Visit Adam’s website for more information on what he does.

Do You Like This Blog?

As a national charity, we depend on your donations to provide our services to Canadians. Every contribution counts.

Your Donations Make a Difference

Donate

Your contribution will further men’s health programming, tool development, and research.

Don’t Change Much is a movement inspiring men and their families to lead healthier lives. With reliable information and easy tips, we know every guy and their family can make small changes that will have a big impact on their health.

More From

Prevention

What The Colour of Your Pee Says About Your Health

What The Colour of Your Pee Says About Your Health

As Canadian guys, we know not to eat yellow snow. The next time you write your name in a snowbank, however, it’s actually a good idea to double-check the colour of your penmanship. After all, the colour of your pee also happens to be a sign of good health and proper...

Funniest Things Guys Say to Doctors About Prostate Exams

Funniest Things Guys Say to Doctors About Prostate Exams

Check out these hilarious zingers guys made to their doctors before, during or after a prostate exam. Even better, the funniest lines lead to some super-important facts about the procedure. If you're wondering what to expect from a prostate exam, read on! “This kinda...

Let’s Talk!

Did you enjoy this article? Let us know in the comments.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our comments are moderated and are made live after they’ve been reviewed. If you disagree with anything in the article or comments please do let us know, but be polite so we can have a constructive discussion where everyone has the opportunity to learn.

Pin It on Pinterest