Blood Pressure

Guidelines for testing blood pressure at home

June 07, 2018 - 3:30 am

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- If you are someone who takes your blood pressure at home to monitor if your medications are working, you may want to use the techniques that doctors traditionally use in their offices when they check your blood pressure in that setting to get it as accurate as you can. 

There are several key things you need to do: remain still, avoid smoking, avoid caffeinated beverages or exercise within 30 minutes before the blood pressure measurement, rest for five minutes before the blood pressure is taken. 

What is particularly interesting is that you are to sit with your back straight and supported, and do not cross your legs. Studies have shown that if you cross your legs when blood pressure is taken it can increase the systolic blood pressure (that's the top number) by as much as 10.