Having your own blood pressure monitor at home makes it easy and simple to stay on track with your health. With some help and guidance from our pharmacist, a simple button can take your blood pressure reading in seconds.
It is important to follow these steps to get an accurate reading because how you prepare for the test, the position of your arm, and other factors can change a blood pressure reading by 10% or more.* This could be enough to hide high blood pressure from your doctor or even have your doctor placing you on prescription blood pressure medication you may not need.
Here are the steps to follow:
1. Don't drink any caffeinated beverages, eat, or smoke during the 30 minutes before the test.
2. Empty your bladder before the test
3. Sit quietly for five minutes before the test begins.
4. During the measurement, sit in a chair with your feet on the floor and your arm supported so your elbow is at about heart level.
5. The inflatable part of the cuff should completely cover at least 80% of your upper arm, and the cuff should be placed on bare skin, not over a shirt.
6. Don't talk during the measurement.
7. Have your blood pressure measured twice, with a brief break in between. If the readings are different by 5 points or more, have it done a third time.
How do you know if your reading is high, normal, or low?
Blood pressure readings will give you two numbers: systolic and diastolic.
Systolic (the top number) measures the force of blood against your artery walls while the lower two chambers of your heart squeeze, pushing your blood to the rest of your body.
Diastolic (the lower number) measures measures the force of blood against your artery walls while your heart relaxes (this is the period of time between heart beats).
Normal blood pressure is 120/80, however this may vary. Take a look at the chart below to see where your numbers fall.
Many at home blood pressure monitors will also give you a heart rate reading. A normal resting heart rate varies from 60-100 bpm (beats per minute).