Nearly half of the adult population in the U.S. have hypertension (aka high blood pressure), which means that there are a lot of people out there who check their blood pressure (BP) at home. There are many different brands and types of BP monitors that can be purchased, but the only kind of monitor recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) are upper arm monitors, which are considered the most accurate.
Even though using a BP monitor is pretty straightforward, there is more to it than just putting the cuff on your arm and pressing a button. The most accurate way to check your BP at home is done by doing the following:
Relax – sit for 4-5 minutes without standing up before taking a BP reading. Standing up will cause an increase in your BP which will lower over the 4-5 minutes of sitting. If possible, you should also avoid smoking, caffeine, or exercise 30 minutes prior to measuring your BP.
Posture – Sit with your back straight and supported, with feet flat on the floor. It is best to have your arm supported on a flat surface at heart level, such as on a table next to you. Do not place the cuff over your clothes.
3) Keeping Track of Measurements – Try and measure your BP at the same time each day if possible, such as before breakfast and before bed. There are many things thought out the day can affect your blood pressure, so checking it at the same times each day will allow you to
keep a more accurate watch on your readings.
As always if you think your numbers might be off, stop by and see us at 45 Urgent Care. We are here Mon.- Sat. from 8am-8pm. No appointment needed, we take walk-ins 🙂
Joshua White, PA-C