How to measure blood pressure, accurately
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.
Be seated in a chair for five minutes
Ensure back supported and feet flat on the floor (may need blocks under feet if they don't reach the ground)
No caffeine, exercise, smoking for preceding 30 minutes
No talking, by patient or doctor
No clothing under the cuff
Arm supported on table in relaxed position
Correct cuff size (use larger cuff if possible)
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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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.