HOW TO TAKE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE

1/ PURCHASE A MONITOR

With the guidance of a pharmacist or trained health care provider, purchase an automated, validated blood pressure monitor at a pharmacy. A digital device with a memory for storing measurements is preferable, and you can also record your blood pressure with the One Heart Five Habits app. 

Click Here for a List of Validated BP Machines 

2/ PREPARE TO MEASURE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE

Make sure you carefully read the instructions that comes with your blood pressure monitor.  Review the technique with your health care provider. 

 

Avoid tobacco and caffeinated beverages one hour prior to taking your measurement, and refrain from exercise at least thirty minutes before measuring.

 

When you’re ready to take your measurement, sit with your back straight and supported (on a straight-backed dining chair, for example, rather than a sofa), and have your feet flat on the floor and legs uncrossed. Take at least five minutes of quiet rest prior to measuring.

 

Blood pressure is typically measured in the non-dominant arm, unless there is a 10 mmHg systolic or more difference between each arm—in which case the arm with the highest value should be used on an ongoing basis.

3/ MEASURE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE

Keep your arm bare and supported on a flat surface (such as a table), with your upper arm at heart level.

 

Place the bottom of the cuff directly above the bend of your elbow. 

 

Measure and record your blood pressure daily for seven days. Take your blood pressure measurements twice a day— in the morning and again in the evening. In the morning, before taking any medications, perform at least two readings one minute apart. In the evening, do the same at least two hours before or after supper and before taking medications. Record your results. At the end of the week, discard the first day’s numbers (as the first recording is typically much higher than readings taken during the rest of the week), and calculate the average of the others by adding them up and then dividing the total by number of measurements. That average is the number you will use to update your profile in the One Heart Five Habits app. Learn More About the App

 

4/ MAKE IT A HABIT

If your health care provider considers you as stable hypertensive, they will likely recommend that you measure your blood pressure every day for a week, once every three months. Of course, if your health care provider asks you to keep a different schedule from the one suggested here, temporarily or long term, do as they suggest.

[Gelfer]

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DISCLAIMER: This website and its associated information and products contain general advice and are not intended to replace personalized recommendations from a health care provider who understands the nuances of each patient’s situation. Check with your health care provider before making any lifestyle changes or changes in your treatment plan. 

DISCLOSURES:  Dr. Zielke supports the dissemination of evidence-based medical information. She has received funding from pharmaceutical companies for activities such as consultation, medical education and quality improvement. Investments also may include pharmaceutical companies, and health tracking technological companies. The One Heart Five Habits project has not received funding from any third party. For further information, please email us.