What Is The Correct Way To Measure Blood Pressure
Learn the correct way to have your blood pressure taken, whether youre getting it checked at the doctors office or checking it yourself at home. Use this checklist:
- Dont eat or drink anything 30 minutes before you take your blood pressure.
- Empty your bladder before your reading.
- Sit in a comfortable chair with your back supported for at least 5 minutes before your reading.
- Put both feet flat on the ground and keep your legs uncrossed.
- Rest your arm with the cuff on a table at chest height.
- Make sure the blood pressure cuff is snug but not too tight. The cuff should be against your bare skin, not over clothing.
- Do not talk while your blood pressure is being measured.
If you are keeping track of your blood pressure at home, use these additional tips.
What Affects A Blood Pressure Reading
Many things can affect a blood pressure reading, including:
- Nervousness about having your blood pressure taken. This is called white coat syndrome. As many as 1 in 3 people who have a high blood pressure reading at the doctors office may have normal blood pressure readings outside of it.1
- What you ate, drank, or did before your reading. If you smoked, drank alcohol or caffeine, or exercised within 30 minutes of having your blood pressure measured, your reading might be higher.2
- How you are sitting. Crossing your legs and letting your arm droop at your side rather than rest on a table at chest height can make your blood pressure go up.2
Its important to get an accurate blood pressure reading so that you have a clearer picture of your risk for heart disease and stroke.
A reading that says your blood pressure is lower than it actually is may give you a false sense of security about your health. A reading that says your blood pressure is higher than it actually is may lead to treatment you dont need.
How Often Should I Do It
The frequency is determined by the specialist and based on their hypotheses. Its common to carry it out twice a day: first thing in the morning and in the late afternoon. Its very important to do it at the same time, and, in this way, you can monitor the readings better.
The specialist will usually recommend that the tests be spread out over a week. If tolerance to a drug is being tested or stronger results are needed, they can be maintained for two weeks or more. In any case, check with your doctor about what time and for how long you should do the measurements.
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Tips For Checking Your Own Blood Pressure
There are certain factors that can cause blood pressure to temporarily rise. For example, blood pressure normally rises as a result of:
- Certain medicines
Try to avoid as many of these factors as you can when taking your blood pressure. Also, try to measure your blood pressure at about the same time each day. Your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure several times during the day to see if it fluctuates.
I Keep Getting Error Messages When I Try To Take A Reading What Should I Do
In the instruction manual that came with the unit, there is a section included on on the different types of error messages. Please review this section of the manual. You can locate electronic instruction manuals in our Product Support & Solutions Center.
If this does not fully resolve the issue, please contact the Omron consumer support line at or contact us.
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How Do I Know If My Monitor Is Accurate Or If I Am Using It Correctly
Once you buy your device, have your doctor check it for accuracy. They should check your monitor once a year. On your own, periodically check the tubing for cracks and leaks. Proper care and storage are necessary. Make sure the tubing is not twisted when you store it. Keep it away from heat.
Ask your doctor or nurse to teach you how to use your blood pressure monitor correctly. This will help you achieve good results in controlling your blood pressure.
How To Measure Your Blood Pressure At Home Using A Home Monitor
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How Does A Blood Pressure Monitor Work
Blood pressure is measured using a sphygmomanometer, or blood pressure monitor. It consists of an inflatable cuff thats wrapped around your arm, roughly level with your heart, and a monitoring device that measures the cuffs pressure.
The monitor measures two pressures: systolic, and diastolic. Systolic pressure is higher, occurring when your heart beats and pushes blood through the arteries, and diastolic pressure is measured when your heart is resting and filling with blood. So, for example, your blood pressure might be 120 over 80.
Blood pressure monitors may be manual or digital, but home monitors are usually digital and the whole measurement process is automatic apart from placing the cuff around your arm.
The cuff then inflates until it fits tightly around your arm, cutting off your blood flow, and then the valve opens to deflate it. As the cuff reaches your systolic pressure, blood begins to flow around your artery. This creates a vibration thats detected by the meter, which records your systolic pressure. In a traditional analogue sphygmomanometer, the blood sounds are detected by the doctor using a stethoscope.
As the cuff continues to deflate, it reaches your diastolic pressure, and the vibration stops. The meter senses this, and records the pressure again.
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Can I Take A Blood Pressure Reading Measurement During Exercise
Omron blood pressure monitors are NOT intended for use during exercise or activity. We recommend that you avoid eating, drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages, smoking, bathing and exercising for at least 30 minutes before taking a measurement. It is also best to rest for 15 minutes before starting the measurement.
How Do I Measure My Arm Circumference
To determine your arm size, use a cloth tape measure and place midway between your elbow and your shoulder around the circumference of your upper arm. Wrap the tape measure evenly around your arm. Do not pull the tape tight. Note the precise measurement in inches. Determine which size cuff is best for you, then purchase a home blood pressure monitor with that size cuff included.
View a short video on selecting the right d-ring cuff.
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How Can I Measure My Blood Pressure At Home
Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.
SMBP means you regularly use a personal blood pressure measurement device away from a doctors office or hospitalusually at home. These blood pressure monitors are easy and safe to use. A health care team member can show you how to use one if you need help.
Evidence shows that people with high blood pressure are more likely to lower their blood pressure if they use SMBP combined with support from their health care team than if they dont use SMBP.3
Use these additional tips for SMBP:4
- Use a blood pressure log pdf icon to record your blood pressure measurements.
- Take your blood pressure at the same time every day.
- Take at least two readings, 1 or 2 minutes apart.
What Is Nhs England And Nhs Improvement Doing To Help
Since October 2020, over 220,000 blood pressure monitors have been distributed around England so that patients can record their blood pressure and send their readings to their GP practice to review, by telephone, email or via a remote monitoring platform.
In addition, those who already own a blood pressure monitor can discuss with their GP how to monitor their blood pressure at home. If you would like to buy a blood pressure monitor, please go to the British Heart Foundation giftshop.
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How Do I Measure My Blood Pressure
Before you check your blood pressure, you should:
- Wait 30 minutes after eating or using caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco products.
- Go to the bathroom and empty your bladder.
- Rest for 3 to 5 minutes and do not talk.
- Sit in a comfortable position, with your legs and ankles uncrossed and your back supported.
- Elevate your left arm to the level of your heart. Place it on a table or desk and sit still.
- Wrap the cuff around the upper part of your bare arm. The cuff should be smooth and snug. There should be enough room for you to slip one fingertip under the cuff.
- Check the placement of the cuff. The bottom edge of it should be 1 inch above the crease of your elbow.
Below are the steps to take to use an aneroid monitor.
Below are the steps to take to use a digital monitor.
- Turn the power on to start the unit.
- On the automatic models, the cuff will inflate by itself with a push of a button. On the manual models, you have to inflate the cuff. You do this by squeezing the rubber bulb at a rapid rate.
- After the cuff inflates, the automatic device will slowly let air out.
- Look at the display screen to get your blood pressure reading. It will show your systolic and diastolic pressures. Write down the measurement in your record. The systolic pressure goes in front of the diastolic pressure. For example, 120/80.
- Press the exhaust button to release all of the air from the cuff.
- If you need to repeat the measurement, wait 2 to 3 minutes before starting.
How Do Health Care Professionals Measure My Blood Pressure
First, a health care professional wraps an inflatable cuff around your arm. The health care professional then inflates the cuff, which gently tightens on your arm. The cuff has a gauge on it that will measure your blood pressure.
The health care professional will slowly let air out of the cuff while listening to your pulse with a stethoscope and watching the gauge. This process is quick and painless. If using a digital or automatic blood pressure cuff, the health care professional will not need to use a stethoscope.
The gauge uses a unit of measurement called millimeters of mercury to measure the pressure in your blood vessels.
If you have high blood pressure, talk to your health care team about steps to take to control your blood pressure to lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Use this list of questions to ask your health care team pdf icon to help you manage your blood pressure.
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Why Trust Verywell Health
Christina Oehler is the commerce editor for Verywell Health and has an RYT-200 Certification. She previously worked as an assistant editor for Health magazine. While testing blood pressure monitors at The Lab, she focused on the integrity of the test and created a methodology that helped thoroughly review the products through the eyes of a buyer. Christina conducted side-by-side comparisons of each blood pressure monitor and consulted a neurologist for the best techniques to get the most thorough insights to provide to buyers.
Additional reporting to this story by Danielle Zoellner
As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.
Welcome To Our Home Monitoring Resource Hub
Here you can find resources for home monitoring, see our simple steps to get an accurate reading and make the most out of home monitoring.
Plus, read more about .
The first step to managing your blood pressure is to Know Your Numbers! Watch our video to see how to measure your blood pressure at home and use our tips and resources below to check your own blood pressure at home.
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How Can I Check My Blood Pressure At Home
Checking your blood pressure at home is easier than youd expect. You first need to buy the right equipment. Talk to your doctor about the best home monitors to buy to check your blood pressure. You want to make sure you get the right size cuff. Once you have your device, heres how to get started:
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol, exercise, and caffeine a half hour before you take a reading.
- Find a quiet place and sit in a comfortable chair. Rest for at least five minutes.
- Follow your monitors instruction booklet to position the cuff properly and inflate it. For manual monitors, this means squeezing the bulb. For automatic ones, its simply a press of a button.
- Check the readings. Write down the top number and the bottom number .
- Finally, establish a routine for checking your blood pressure at home. This enables you to notice trends in your numbers, which is helpful.
Feel free to share your blood pressure records with your doctor, especially if youre at a higher risk for developing heart disease.
Buy A Blood Pressure Monitor
Pharmacies and online merchants sell a variety of blood pressure monitors. Monitors typically range in price from $50 to $100, although a higher price doesn’t necessarily correlate to better quality. Ask your health insurance company whether it will cover part or all of the cost.
When shopping for a blood pressure monitor, look for these features:
Buy a monitor that goes around your upper arm. Dr. Zusman doesn’t recommend wrist or finger monitors because they aren’t as accurate.
An automatic monitor is easiest to use, because it doesn’t require a stethoscope and the cuff inflates by itself. Manual monitors require you to squeeze a bulb to inflate the cuff, which can be hard to do if you have arthritis.
Choose a monitor that meets standards for your age and health conditions according to an organization such as the European Society of Hypertension, dabl Educational Trust, or the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation . Each organization has posted its list of approved devices on its website.
Make sure the cuff fits your arm. If it’s too large or too small, the reading won’t be accurate.
Check that the numbers on the dial or display are large enough for you to read clearly.
Determine what other features you want in a blood pressure monitor. Some monitors will take an average of your last few readings, record your measurements over time, and send them to your doctor via your smartphone.
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How Do I Pair My Blood Pressure Monitor To My Mobile Device
Download the Omron Connect app from either Google Play or App Store. Turn on your phones Bluetooth and make sure its visible to other devices and launch the app. First create an account, then you can begin pairing your devices. Make sure your blood pressure monitor is clear. To do this, press the start/stop button. Now press and hold the clock button on your monitor until the flashing O appears. You mobile device will indicate that pairing is complete and that your readings have been uploaded. For more information, watch the video.
Testing Your Blood Pressure At Home
Your GP may suggest 24-hour or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring if they think you may have high blood pressure .
ABPM tests your blood pressure regularly over 24 hours, by using a cuff attached to a portable device that’s worn on your waist.
You can continue with your daily activities during this time.
If you want to regularly check your blood pressure at home, you can buy a machine.
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Where Can I Get My Blood Pressure Checked
You can get your blood pressure measured
- By a health care team member at a doctors office.
- At a pharmacy that has a digital blood pressure measurement machine.
- With a home blood pressure monitor that you can use yourself.
Take this form pdf icon with you on your first blood pressure visit to record important blood pressure-related information.
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