6 Common Causes of High Blood Pressure

a woman checking her blood pressure


Your blood pressure is a measure of the force of your blood as it flows through your arteries and circulates your body. When the heart beats, it pushes blood through the arteries, resulting in pressure on the arterial walls. This pressure is what “blood pressure” readings analyze. Throughout the day, your blood pressure will rise and fall depending on various factors from physical activity to stress and relaxation, but some people experience sustained heightened blood pressure levels, resulting in a diagnosis of hypertension.

Today, we’re taking a look at common causes of high blood pressure as well as a few methods that may help reduce it naturally. With a few simple lifestyle adjustments, you may be able to get your blood pressure back under control and lower some of its associated risks.

What Is High Blood Pressure?

Normal blood pressure levels center around an ideal rate of less than 120/80 mm Hg. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, occurs when your blood is constantly flowing through your arteries at a higher pressure level than normal.

The American Heart Association categorizes blood pressure readings of 130/80 mm Hg or higher as high blood pressure. The top number denotes systolic blood pressure, or how much pressure your blood is exerting against your arterial walls when your heart beats. The second, lower number is the diastolic blood pressure, or how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls between heartbeats.

Common Causes of High Blood Pressure

Part of learning how to treat any medical condition is identifying potential sources of the issue. There are many reasons for high blood pressure that vary from person to person, however there are some generally-accepted common causes of high blood you may choose to consider first.

Some of the main causes of high blood pressure include:

  • Family history of high blood pressure or genetic predisposition
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Stress levels
  • Leading a more sedentary lifestyle
  • Dietary choices
  • Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders

Family History of High Blood Pressure

The first on our list of common causes of high blood pressure is family history of high blood pressure resulting in genetic predisposition. When certain traits are passed on from one generation to another in the same family through genes, it’s called a hereditary trait.

While some of the main causes of high blood pressure are able to be circumvented, family history of high blood pressure is something you should consult your doctor about to assess your potentially increased risk. This becomes especially important as you grow older, as the risk of high blood pressure is also commonly associated as an age-related disease.

It’s interesting to note, however, that while genes likely play a role in reasons for high blood pressure, it’s not the only cause associated with family. Oftentimes, families with high blood pressure may also share common environments or other circumstances that factor into elevated risk for hypertension.

Obesity and High Blood Pressure

Another one of the most common causes of high blood pressure that you may not have considered is obesity. Overweight and obesity are medical terms defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. One of the most dangerous potential health problems caused by obesity is heart disease, which can lead to an elevated risk of heart attack or stroke. What you may not have recognized is that much of the elevated risk of cardiovascular disease referenced is a result of high blood pressure caused by obesity.

To reduce blood pressure naturally, finding a well-balanced diet and exercise routine to maintain a healthy weight may help. Consult your doctor to determine a healthy range for you to work towards as well as a safe routine to reach your goals.

High Blood Pressure Due to Stress

Stress is something each of us experiences every single day and is one of the most common causes of high blood pressure. It’s impossible to navigate each day without different types of stressors from work deadlines to social events, trying to stay active, or even recovering from an injury. Stressful situations and catalysts are known to cause short spikes in blood pressure, but may also put you at risk for long term hypertension.

When you experience stress, cortisol levels rise within your body. Cortisol is the body’s natural stress hormone and has been shown to directly affect blood pressure levels. To help lower cortisol levels naturally and reduce the amount of stress affecting your mental and physical health, there are a number of simple activities to consider trying.

One of our favorite methods for lowering your risk of stress related health problems like high blood pressure is learning how to meditate at home. Meditation has long been recognized as a potentially effective method for lowering stress levels and improving overall health. To take things to the next level, you could even combine meditation with our next stress relief tool: zero gravity chairs!

While there are many potential health benefits of zero gravity chairs to note, one of them is to help reduce stress levels. Enjoying a zero gravity recliner as part of a relaxing night time routine or integrated into almost any part of your daily life may help with how the body heals itself and even potentially improve mental health, as well. The deepened relaxation you may experience from the chairs themselves as well as bonus features of zero gravity luxury recliners could melt the stress away with ease.

Inactivity and High Blood Pressure

While you may associate elevated blood pressure with physical activity, another on our list of common causes of high blood pressure is inactivity and the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Whether you do full body workout exercises or find simple exercises to do at work for staying loose, physical activity helps improve heart health naturally and strengthen blood vessels. Stronger blood vessels and heart health mean better blood circulation and may help lower blood pressure levels in those living with hypertension.

For those who do less physical activity, or are unable to, there are many other options available. For example, there are a plethora of activities to do while relaxing in a zero gravity chair that can get the blood pumping and potentially lower high blood pressure. Even when choosing between a zero gravity chair or recliner, you’ll be able to note how the former is designed with blood circulation enhancement in mind!

High Blood Pressure and Unhealthy Eating

If you’re living with hypertension, no doubt it’s been brought to your attention that you may need to alter your dietary choices to help lower your blood pressure. That’s because unhealthy eating can be one of the most common causes of high blood pressure in many cases. One of the reasons for high blood pressure caused by less healthy foods is that your overall nutritional intake is likely too high in sodium and/or too low in potassium.

Too high an intake of sodium, found in salt, has been shown to increase blood pressure. While you may not add much salt to your cooking at home if you’re learning how to fight main causes of high blood pressure, processed foods and restaurant meals often contain much higher salt levels than you may realize.

High Blood Pressure From Sleep Apnea

Last, though certainly not least, on our list of common causes of high blood pressure is sleep apnea. Among other sleep disorders, sleep apnea runs a high risk of elevated blood pressure levels. Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure, putting a strain on the cardiovascular system.

To combat sleep apnea, you may look into alternative sleep positions. Sleeping in a zero gravity chair, for example, helps keep your upper body slightly elevated and airways open while you sleep. Unlike traditional recliners, which are more likely to result in pain from sitting too long, a zero gravity chair removes excess pressure from the lower back and pelvic region, making it more comfortable for an adult nap or as an alternative to a flat bed.

As you can see, there are many common causes of high blood pressure that may be contributing to your hypertension. Identifying the main reasons for high blood pressure in your body could help you reduce your levels naturally. Options like simple dietary adjustments, keeping physically active, or choosing a zero gravity chair for relaxation and better sleep may make all the difference in the world. As with any new treatment routine, discuss any changes with your doctor before you start to make sure it’s safe for you to do so.

To learn more about the potential benefits of owning a zero gravity chair and how it could enhance your lifestyle, check out these additional resources: