White Paper – Blood Pressure

Are You Measuring Your Blood Pressure Correctly?

  • Measuring blood pressure may seem like a simple task, but often it is done incorrectly! Follow these simple guidelines in order to accurately know your average blood pressure!
  • Your blood pressure is not just what you read at a certain moment in time. According to the American Heart Association Guidelines for Blood Pressure Measurement, “True blood pressure is defined as the average level over a prolonged duration.” Testing frequently and correctly and taking the average of those correct readings will better help you be aware of your blood pressure.

How To Ensure An Accurate Blood Pressure Reading

  1. Make sure to not eat food, drink caffeine, or exercise 30 minutes prior to measurement. Also, you should rest about 5 minutes before taking blood pressure.
  2. You should be seated with your back supported, your legs uncrossed with feet on floor, and your left arm rested at heart level. Make sure your arm is bare.
  3. The cuff should cover 80% or more of your arm circumference. Use the correct size of cuff. A cuff that is too small will result in a falsely high reading; too big will result in a falsely low reading. You should be able to fit only 2 fingers between the arm and the cuff.
  4. It is important to not talk during the measurement.
  5. It is recommended that at least two readings be taken with 1 minute in-between readings and average the two measurements. If the first reading is abnormally high, throw that reading out. Check blood pressure a third time and average the second and third readings.

Using The Digital Monitor

  1. Sit with your feet on the floor and upper arm exposed.
  2. Wrap cuff around upper arm and rest arm on table so cuff is level with your heart.
  3. Press start, cuff will inflate.
  4. Review your results in about 30 seconds.

What Your Blood Pressure Means

Normal

  • Systolic: 119 mmHg or lower
  • Diastolic: 79 mmHg or lower

Prehypertension

  • Systolic: 120-139 mmHg
  • Diastolic: 80-89 mmHg

Hypertension-Stage 1

  • Systolic: 140-159 mmHg
  • Diastolic: 90-99 mmHg

Hypertension-Stage 2

  • Systolic: 160 mmHg or higher
  • Diastolic: 100 mmHg or higher

Ask us if you have any questions regarding proper technique!

References: aafp.org and Omron blood pressure monitor instructions