Big Squeeze works against high blood pressure in Sioux Falls - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Big Squeeze works against high blood pressure in Sioux Falls

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The Big Squeeze 2014 is under way.

Live Well Sioux Falls and The Big Squeeze community team kicked off their fourth annual blood pressure awareness effort today. The number of residents screened has more than tripled since The Big Squeeze began in 2011.

"The Big Squeeze directly correlates with the Live Well Sioux Falls initiative," Jill Franken, public health director, said "Through Live Well and our community partners, we are educating the residents of Sioux Falls on how to live a healthier lifestyle through improved nutrition, increased physical activity, reduced tobacco use, and by managing risk factors for disease such as high blood pressure."

A group of public and private partners from the Sioux Falls community have driven this successful effort, including the American Heart Association, Avera Health, City of Sioux Falls, DAKOTACARE, Lewis Drug, Novartis, Sanford Health, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, and Walgreens.

In addition to the project partners, The Big Squeeze engages businesses and other organizations in the community to host on-site blood pressure screenings.

Less than half of the adults who were screened in 2013 had normal blood pressure readings. Forty-one percent were found to have "at risk" blood pressure and another 18 percent had readings in the "high" or "critically high" categories. Of those found to be "high" or "critically high," 37 percent had never been told by a health care professional that they have high blood pressure.

Screening locations for the April project can be found at

For more information on how to become involved in The Big Squeeze, please contact Live Well Sioux Falls at or call 605-367-8031.

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