How to take your blood pressure correctly

How to take your blood pressure correctly

  1. Relax – it is important for the accuracy of the test that you are resting and not worried, anxious or stressed. Your arm should be rested on a table with your hand and arm relaxed, don’t clench your fist.
  2. Posture – Sit upright with your back firmly against the back of the chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  3. Cuff - Take cuff and put it over your upper arm, tightening it but making sure you can still fit two fingers underneath the cuff. The cuff should be over the upper part of your arm with the tubing leading down the centre or slightly to the right of your arm.
  4. Quiet – Do not talk when taking your blood pressure
  5. Start – Press the start button when the machine is switched on
  6. Inflate – You may feel the cuff start to inflate rapidly; this may temporarily be a little uncomfortable but it is only for a short period of time. If it is causing you pain or is too uncomfortable press STOP and the cuff will instantly deflate.
  7. Note – Make sure to take a note of your reading – some machines may have a built in memory which will record the reading for you
  8. Wait – take a few minutes to yourself and then re-measure your blood pressure. Multiple readings should be similar and accurate or something may have gone wrong with one of the readings.
  9. Discuss – If you’ve been asked by your GP or nurse to check your blood pressure, it is best to take this twice daily (morning and night) and then make an appointment to see them to discuss your results. If you can’t get in to see someone, pop into your pharmacy or give us a call to discuss.
  1. A normal blood pressure reading is below 140/90, but if you have heart or circulatory disease, diabetes or kidney disease, your blood pressure should ideally be less than 130/80.