27 May 2020
How to check your blood pressure at home
Hold your own May Measurement Month at home
May Measurement Month is held annually to raise awareness of Hypertension, sadly their free blood pressure testing events had to be cancelled due to the global coronavirus outbreak and visits to your local GP or pharmacy for a regular blood pressure check have become more difficult. But monitoring your blood pressure at home can be very easy, here we help you understand how to check your blood pressure at home.
Hypertension carries no noticeable symptoms and less than 50% of adults with high blood pressure are aware that they have it. High blood pressure can lead to serious medical conditions including cardiac arrest and stroke, better awareness of the condition could save your life. The best way to control your blood pressure is with regular checks.
Choosing a blood pressure monitor for your home
Clinical Validation: Look for information on clinical validation of the device to ensure it meets guidelines set out by the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and the British Hypertension Society (BIHS) which indicates that the monitor has been approved for accuracy for use in the home. You can find details of clinical validation on Kinetik Wellbeing Blood Pressure Monitors listed alongside every monitor on our website. Our Fully Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor has been approved for accuracy as a blood pressure monitor for home use by the BIHS, view details here.
Cuff size: The cuff is the part of the monitor which wraps around your upper arm to take the blood pressure reading. The size of the cuff relates to the circumference of your upper arm, a poor fit can lead to inaccurate readings.
Kinetik Wellbeing Blood Pressure Monitors have a standard universal cuff to fit adult arms between 22-42cm. For extra convenience and comfort, the Fully Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor has a quick release cuff which release quickly as soon as the reading is complete, and our Blood Pressure Monitor – Advanced has an innovative comfort cuff which measures on inflation, said to be our most comfortable cuff yet.
Other features to look out for are a memory function to help you keep a record of your most recent readings, a one touch operation to avoid fiddly set up procedures, and an irregular heartbeat function to detect any abnormalities in your heart rate. These are all functions which are featured across the Kinetik Wellbeing Blood Pressure range.
Team Kinetik are checking their numbers at home too
How to check your blood pressure
There are some key things to remember when checking your blood pressure at home which are:
- Wait until your heart rate is at resting pace
- Ensure you are sitting down with your legs uncrossed
- Fix the cuff to your upper arm leaving a gap the size of two fingers from the crook of your arm
- Always take the average of at least three readings rather than just one reading. This reflects your true blood pressure reading, rather than just the first reading alone.
For full instructions on how to take a blood pressure reading, watch our video tutorial here.
When should you not take your blood pressure?
Avoid taking your blood pressure for at least 30 minutes after consuming caffeine or alcohol or after smoking a cigarette. You should also wait for half an hour after eating a big meal and avoid taking a reading if you need to use the toilet.
Do not take your blood pressure immediately after exercising. Wait for at least 5 to 10 minutes for your heart rate to return to a normal resting pace.
Do not take a blood pressure reading if you are wearing a tight-fitted top, opt for loose fitting clothing so you can roll your sleeve up comfortably, or a short-sleeved t-shirt.
Do not take your blood pressure if you are feeling anxious or stressed as this can cause a temporary spike in your blood pressure which could affect the accuracy of your reading.
You can find more guidelines on taking a home blood pressure reading on the Blood Pressure UK website.
What is a good blood pressure reading?
- A healthy blood pressure reading should be around 120 / 80.
- A reading of 140 / 90 or above indicates high blood pressure.
- A reading of 90 / 60 or below indicates low blood pressure.
Enter your numbers into our free online blood pressure tool (provided by the NHS) to get an analysis of your reading, what steps to take to maintain healthy blood pressure, or when to seek medical advice.
Shop online for a Kinetik Wellbeing blood pressure monitor here.
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