Why is blood pressure generally higher in more distal arteries?
Because of reflected pressure waves and the stiffness of the blood vessel. The forward pressure wave from the heart travels much faster than the blood itself and is reflected at areas of tapering and branching. This backward wave slows the forward flow of blood, and at the same time, when it meets the next forward pressure wave, that forward pressure wave is augmented...so higher pressures distally...And now you know, and knowing is half the battle...
The cardiovascular system is affected by three types of pressure. These are:
Arteries can of course be treated as one long tube due to their lack of valves, therefore the hydrostatic pressure could be significant in contributing to total blood pressure. If hydrostatic pressure is more significant than heamodynamic pressure then this would explain why pressure would be higher the more distal the artery is - when standing there is simply more blood pushing down on it.