Taking Reliable Blood Pressure Measurements at Home
Measure Your Blood Pressure. Control It. Live Longer.
Hypertension is the leading preventable cause of death and disability around the world, and can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and dementia. Many risk factors are within your power to control. Regular measuring of blood pressure is key to managing hypertension.
To be sure you’re getting the most accurate readings, follow these steps each time you measure your blood pressure:
- Measure at the same time each day to ensure comparable data.
- Do not take blood pressure measurements when you are agitated or in pain.
- Avoid eating, smoking, drinking caffeinated beverages or engaging in vigorous activity for 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure.
- Empty your bladder or bowel if necessary.
- Do not speak while taking the measurement
- Use the same arm every time, typically the left. Remove clothing from your arm completely.
- Sit with legs uncrossed to avoid restricting blood flow
- Sit with back supported, feet flat on the floor with the measurement arm resting on a table.
- Rest quietly for a few minutes before beginning the measurement
- Wrap the cuff snugly around your bare upper arm (2 fingers should fit between the blood pressure cuff and your arm). The cuff should be at the midpoint on the upper arm, about 2-3 cm above the elbow, with the hose in line with the brachial artery (on the underside of your arm).
- Ensure that the cuff is level with the heart while the arm is resting on the table
Keep a record of each measurement and bring it to your next appointment with your health care provider. This record will help determine whether your blood pressure is within a healthy range.
Ask your Super Thrifty pharmacist to help you choose a blood pressure monitor and select a cuff size that is right for you.
Sources: Hypertension Canada, Heart & Stroke Canada