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Home Blood Pressure Monitoring

To measure Blood Pressure (BP) accurately, it is important when measuring BP that it is done in the same way by everyone, this includes patients, GPs and other clinicians. 

Home Blood Pressure Monitoring (HBPM) may be used instead of wearing a BP monitor for 24 hours or to check the effect of your current treatment.

Before measuring your BP

  • Avoid eating, smoking, drinking coffee or exercising for half an hour before checking your BP
  • Wear loose clothing
  • Rest for 5 minutes before taking a reading
  • Sit where your arm can be supported at the level of your heart
  • Make sure your back is also supported and that you are comfortable

Measuring BP

  1. Check the instructions that came with the BP monitor.
  2. Place the cuff around the arm approximately 2cm above the bend of the elbow.
  3. Support your arm, keep your legs uncrossed and your feet flat on the floor, sit back and relax. Do not move, talk, laugh or chew while taking your BP reading.
  4. Take 2 readings at least 1 minute apart. If these readings are very different, take a 3rd reading.
  5. Make a note of the readings as they appear on the BP monitor screen

Tips for measuring BP

  • Take 2 BP readings, 1 minute apart at approximately the same time twice each day; ideally in the morning (06:00-12:00) and evening (18:00-00:00)
  • Take and record your BP readings for at least 4 days and up to 7 days.
  • Measure the Blood Pressure in both arms, use the arm that gives the higher systolic reading (the top number) for all future readings.
  • High readings – it is normal for BP to vary. If you are concerned, are experiencing new symptoms or your BP reading is repeatedly higher than the numbers given to you, please contact Park Road Medical Centre or call NHS111 for further advice.

BP Monitors

Should you wish to buy your own BP monitor, we recommend that this is a validated monitor, an up to date list can be found on the link:

Remember to check that you also have the correct cuff size:

Upper arm circumference (cm)Cuff size
Less than 23 cmSmall adult / child
23 – 33 cmStandard adult
33 – 50 cmLarge adult
Over 50 cmAdult thigh cuff (also check with GP)

Useful Websites

PDF File of this page with Recording Blood Pressure Readings