How to Measure Blood Pressure at Home Infographic

Monitoring your blood pressure at home infographic

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Blood Pressure Measurement Instructions

Use a validated monitor.

Ask your health care provider or pharmacist for help.

In the 30 minutes before your blood pressure is taken:

  • No smoking.
  • No exercise.
  • No caffeinated beverages.
  • No alcohol.

For 5 minutes before your blood pressure is taken:

  • Sit still in a chair.
    Right before:
    • Make sure the cuff is the right size.
    • Wrap it just above the bend in the elbow.
    • Wrap it against skin, not over clothing.
  • While your blood pressure is being taken:
    • Relax.
    • Don't talk.
    • Rest the cuffed arm comfortably on a flat surface (like a table) at heart level.
    • Sit upright, back straight and supported.
    • Keep legs uncrossed and feet flat on the floor.
  • After:
    • if at home, wait one minute and take a second reading. average the readings.
    • consider a third reading.
  • Recommendations:
    • Keep a journal. bring it to every checkup.
    • Have your health care provider check your monitor annually.

American Heart Association recommended blood pressure levels

Blood Pressure Category Systolic mm Hg (upper number) Diastolic mm Hg (lower number)
Normal Less than 120 and Less than 80
Elevated 120-129 and Less than 80
High Blood Pressure
(Hypertension) Stage 1
130-139 or 80-89
High Blood Pressure
(Hypertension) Stage 2
140 or higher or 90 or higher

Blood pressure higher than 180/120 mm hg is a crisis.*

*Wait five minutes and take your blood pressure again.

If your readings are still high, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

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