How to measure blood pressure, accurately

Blood pressure reader

High blood pressure can be over-diagnosed, as we can all remember rushing to the doctors office, maybe just had a cup of coffee, just finished exercise or an argument with a friend. Any of these plus other ways that make us stressed or being in a hurry can cause our blood pressure to rise.

 

It’s important to measure blood pressure correctly, ensuring the person is calm, relaxed and no recent stimulants. The steps below should be followed careful to ensure the blood pressure reading is as accurate as possible.

 

Below we'll go through important points to bear in mind when you or a practitioner checks your blood pressure. Check out each of the steps below.

Step One

Be seated in a chair for five minutes

Step Two

Ensure back supported and feet flat on the floor (may need blocks under feet if they don't reach the ground)

Step Three

No caffeine, exercise, smoking for preceding 30 minutes 

Coffee

Step Four  

No talking, by patient or doctor

Step Five

No clothing under the cuff

Step Six

Arm supported on table in relaxed position

Blood pressure arm on pillow.jpg

Step Seven

Correct cuff size (use larger cuff if possible)

Step Eight

Repeat measurements, average the results or take the lowest reading.

Finally, if you're taking your own measurements at home I'd like to add that you are in a quiet relaxed place, not surrounded by noise, the TV or energetic children.

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For Example

First reading:      147/102  Pulse=63

Second reading: 145/94    Pulse=60

Blood pressure is a complex issue and your blood pressure is continually changing throughout the day.

 

Also if you are concerned about your blood pressure and take that concern with you to the doctor's office it's bound to be high, as stress can increase your blood pressure.