8 Tips to Correctly Take Your Blood Pressure at Home

Having the equipment for measuring your blood pressure at home is not an excuse for doing it any old how. Rather, you should follow a series of guidelines to ensure that the results are reliable
8 Tips to Correctly Take Your Blood Pressure at Home
José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli

Written and verified by the doctor José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Nowadays, it’s important to learn how to take your blood pressure at home. Many people measure their blood pressure at home as a way of preventing heart attacks and ischemia.

Doctors recommend it for people with hypertension problems.

However, some patients tend to turn this simple precautionary measure into a lot of worry and false alarms.

This can lead to several false emergencies due to incorrect readings.

For this reason, here we offer you 8 tips to take your blood pressure at home correctly. Take it calmly and pay attention to the signs.

Correct body posture

Some people just lie down on their bed, put on the monitor and start to pump without considering their posture. To tell the truth, this is not the right way to do a self-examination.

  • The correct posture is with the patient sitting upright with their feet firmly on the floor.
  • It’s important for your back to be supported on a backrest or similar surface.

The position of your arm is essential

Take Your Blood Pressure

A simple change in the height of your arm or hand can change the results when we measure our blood pressure at home.

Whether or not you make any effort with your arm is another factor that can skew the result.

  • For this reason, doctors suggest supporting your arm fully on a table or flat surface.
  • The arm should remain immobile and be comfortably available to the patient.

Zero movements during the test

Some people have trivialized this practice so much in their home environment that they tend to talk and move their arms during their blood pressure readings.

  • It’s clear that any loud expression or worried thoughts can alter our blood pressure in a short time.
  • For this reason, if you want to have a reliable result, the right thing to do is not to move during the self-examination.

Be careful about what you consume in the half an hour before

Be careful about what you consume in the half an hour before

Products like alcohol or sodas tend to increase your blood pressure almost automatically. The same applies if you smoke a cigarette.

So, the logical thing is to avoid this kind of products before and during the measurement.

  • If you drink a soda, you need to wait an hour before doing the reading.
  • Otherwise, you could have mistaken results and this can cause further worry for no reason.

Gaps between measurements

Elderly people get used to taking their blood pressure at home as much as a few times a day. In reality, this practice is inappropriate according to the perspective of the majority of specialist heart doctors.

  • The important thing is to carry out measurements twice a day. One should be first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and another one before dinner, when you should take two measurements with a space of one minute between them.
  • It is recommended to do it in a comfortable place at a moderate temperature.

Find the correct equipment

Find the correct equipment

Some equipment can have measurement errors, so many people don’t manage to measure their exact blood pressure stats. The ideal thing is to get hold of equipment that is approved by a national professional organization, like the American Heart Association, for example.

This institution offers on its website a list of criteria for choosing a home blood pressure monitor.

Forget wrist devices

The new technology for people with high blood pressure is comfortable, practical and aesthetically pleasing. We’re talking about the modern arm devices.

The problem is that they can show variations due to hand movements.

When measuring blood pressure at home, try to be as calm as possible

When measuring blood pressure at home: try to be as calm as possible

Another mistake that high blood pressure patients fall into is taking their measurements just after having an argument or overcoming some kind of obstacle. In this case, they will get raised values and this will only add to the worry.

Instead of this, you should try to calm down a little, breathe deeply and wait a bit before starting to use the monitor.

In fact, even doctors always try to calm people down before carrying out their tests. This is to avoid the so-called “white coat hypertension.”

In summary, worrying too much not only can affect readings carried out at home, but can also cause us a health problem that can get out of control.

After all, the best thing to avoid tension-related illnesses is the moderation and control of emotions, as well as an appropriate diet.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Sociedad Española de Hipertensión (SHE). Liga Española para la Lucha contra la Hipertensión Arterial. Aparatos de medida PA. [Online] Available at: www.seh-lelha.org/aparatos-medida-pa/

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.