How to use a home blood pressure monitor
Simple steps to an accurate reading
There are a few simple steps that you can follow to be sure that you get an accurate reading of
your blood pressure.
Before you take your blood pressure reading
1. Many things can make your blood pressure rise for a short time. Make sure you do not
need to use the toilet, and that you have not just eaten a big meal. Do not measure your
blood pressure within 30 minutes of drinking caffeine or smoking.
2. Wear loose-fitting clothes like a short sleeved t-shirt so that you can push your sleeve up
3. Before you take your readings, rest for five minutes. You should be sitting down in a quiet
place, preferably at a desk or table, with your arm resting on a firm surface and your feet
flat on the floor.
4. Make sure your arm is supported and that the cuff around your arm is at the same level as
your heart. You may need to support your arm with a cushion to be sure it is at the correct
height. Your arm should be relaxed, not tensed.
How to take your own readings at home using a digital home monitor
1. Put the cuff on following the instructions that came with your monitor.
2. Make sure you are relaxed and comfortable. If you are anxious or uncomfortable, this will
make your blood pressure rise temporarily.
3. When you are taking your reading, keep still and silent. Moving and talking can affect your
4. Take two readings, each about two minutes apart in the morning and again in the evening
for six days and record on the attached chart.