Taking Your Blood Pressure At Home

Taking Your Blood Pressure At Home
Taking Your Blood Pressure At Home
There are several simple steps you should take to make sure that your home blood pressure readings are as
accurate as possible.
Before you take your reading:
There are many factors that can make your blood pressure rise for a short period of time. You should not
smoke, have a drink containing caffeine (such as coffee) or exercise for 30 minutes before you take your
blood pressure reading. You should also avoid measuring your blood pressure when you need to use the
It is important that you always measure your blood pressure in the same arm. You should use the arm
which your doctor or nurse uses when they take your blood pressure, or whichever arm they ask you to
Do not wear any tight or restrictive clothing around the arm you are measuring your blood pressure in.
For example, you should avoid rolling up tight shirt sleeves.
You should rest for at least five minutes before measuring your blood pressure. During this time you
should sit down in a quiet place, try to relax and avoid speaking to anyone.
Taking your reading:
Place the cuff on your arm, following the instructions that came with your monitor. The bottom of the cuff
should be approximately 2cm above the bend in your elbow.
Comfortable, with no
distractions or talking
Make sure that you are sitting down when taking your blood
pressure readings and that you have both of your feet flat on the
floor. You should not cross your legs as this can raise your blood
Arm supported at heart
pressure. The arm that you are measuring your blood pressure
in should be support on a firm surface (such as a table or desk)
with your palm facing up and should be at the same level as your
Take a reading, following the instructions that came with your
monitor. When taking your blood pressure readings you should
not talk and should try to relax.
Seated with back support
Take at least two readings, leaving at least a minute between
each. After each measurement, you should write the reading
down in your diary. Remember to write down the exact numbers
Feet flat on the floor
that appear on the screen- do not round the numbers up or
down. If the first two readings you take are very different, take 2
or 3 further readings. You should write all of your readings down in your blood pressure diary.
This resource is a joint production of the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health
Research and Care (CLAHRC) Greater Manchester and the British Hypertension Society
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