First Time User? Enroll now.
*Vaccine availability and appointments* | Additional COVID-19 resources.
Please be aware that mask-wearing is required at all UNC Health facilities.
Home > Health Library > Blood pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood inside an artery. A blood pressure reading measures the force of blood against the walls of an artery.
Blood pressure is measured by temporarily stopping the flow of blood in an artery, using a cuff placed around the upper arm. Air is added to the cuff until blood flow stops. As the air is released, blood begins to flow through the artery again. Blood pressure is measured as the blood begins to flow again.
Current as of: April 29, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.