Learn How to Use a Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor Correctly in 5 Minutes
A study published in the Hypertension journal has pointed out that many people are misusing wrist blood pressure monitors at home, which leads to them getting inaccurate readings. The inaccurate readings are usually higher than what’s true. To help you get more accurate measurements, here are some guidelines for measuring your blood pressure.
First, here are some dos and don’ts of using a blood pressure monitor that applies to both wrist and underarm-monitor.
Dos and Don’t when taking blood pressure measurement
Please try to follow these guidelines to get an accurate reading, as failing to do so can result in an inaccurately high reading.
- Don’t exercise, consume caffeine or alcohol, or smoke tobacco 30-45 minutes before taking the measurement
- Don’t be in a stressed state of mind immediately before or during the measurement
- Don’t hold a full bladder (full to the extent of causing urgency)
- Don’t engage in conversation or active listening during the measurement
- Don’t wrap the cuff over your clothing or use a cuff that’s the wrong size for your body
- Don’t sit crossed-legged
- Don’t contract your biceps or clench your fist
- Do relax and support your arm during the measurement
- Do rest for a few minutes before taking the measurement
- Do sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your back supported
- Do wrap the cuff snugly but not too tightly; one finger should be able to fit under the cuff but not more
Additional tip: Blood pressure can fluctuate even in a short period of time. To get a more accurate insight, you can take two to three measurements one minute apart from each other and average the results.
BP measurements can differ slightly between your left and right arm, this is normal, but a big difference can indicate a serious health problem.
How to position a wrist blood pressure monitor?
When using a wrist blood pressure monitor, proper position is key. A wrist blood pressure monitor needs to be positioned differently from an upper arm blood pressure monitor during measurement.
First, wrap the cuff 1/2 inch, or 1 cm, away from the beginning of your wrist (where wrist meets palm). Second, when measuring, place the wrist cuff at the same level as your heart.
You can do this by crossing your arm across your chest, laying your wrist squarely on your heart, and supporting your elbow with the other hand.
When the forearm is laid horizontally on a supporting desk putting the wrist below heart level, or if the hand is grabbing onto a shoulder putting the wrist above heart level, an inaccurate BP measurement will occur.
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