Error-free blood pressure measurement
It's time to check your blood pressure! Here's some simple, practical advice on how to do this correctly, including how to hold your arm, how to repeat the measurement, and what to do during and after the process.
Don't eat or drink 1 hour before measurement
To measure your blood pressure correctly, wait for at least an hour after you've eaten or drunk anything, even if it's just a cup of tea or coffee. And to avoid getting incorrect measurements, don't smoke or exert yourself before you start.
Need a pee? Go before you start taking your blood pressure
Ready to take a reading, but need a pee? Pause before you start, and head for the bathroom, then take your pressure immediately afterwards.
Relax before you measure!
Before you take the measurement, relax! Try to sit in a quiet room for about 5 minutes beforehand, at a comfortable temperature if possible.
Don't constrict your arm
If you've decided to take your blood pressure, don't wear tight clothing on the arm concerned. This will act as a ligature and won’t confuse your blood pressure monitor.
Measure at your arm, level with your heart
Are you ready to take a measurement? Fine, remember to remain seated with your arm resting on a flat surface, level with your heart. Lean against the back of the chair, uncross your legs, and remain still without talking. Remember not to tighten the cuff too much, as this will constrict your arm.
Always take measurements at the same time
If you take multiple readings, we recommend always doing so at the same time, when you wake up and in the late afternoon, and always using the same arm. Your doctor will tell you which one, as there may be significant pressure differences between them. Always use the arm with the higher pressure.
Repeat the test, wait for 1 or 2 minutes and take 3 consecutive readings
If you want to repeat the measurement, wait 1 or 2 minutes after the last test and record both readings in your diary. Remember to consider the average of the 2 rather than the individual readings.
Find the cuff that's right for you
Are you slightly overweight, or do you have very muscular arms? Or are you very thin? You should know that to avoid measuring your blood pressure incorrectly, you must use cuffs suited to the circumference of your arm. It is possible to buy non-standard lengths for children. If you're a few kilos overweight, use a wrist monitor validated in accordance with European Society of Hypertension protocols.