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Tips to measuring your blood pressure at home

Posted by Blooms The Chemist on 11 May 2023

Tips to measuring your blood pressure at home

If you’ve been advised by your doctor or General Practicioner (GP) to take your blood pressure regularly, the first thing you need is an at-home blood pressure monitor.

This means that you can take your blood pressure when you need to, provide accurate records to your doctor and take your blood pressure in the comfort of your own home.

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the pressure of blood on the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood around your body1.

It’s important to note that blood pressure doesn’t stay the same all the time and changes to meet the needs of your body.

Your blood pressure can be influenced by a range of factors, including your emotional state, if you’ve been exercising and sleep1.

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure has virtually no symptoms2. If your blood pressure continues to remain high over a long period of time, it can put a lot of pressure on your heart and lead to heart failure, kidney disease or stroke.

By checking your blood pressure regularly, you’re able to monitor for changes and can take action to manage high blood pressure should it occur.

You can reduce your chances of having high blood pressure by learning to keep it under control through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes2.

Why does my doctor want me to monitor my blood pressure at home?

Your doctor may have recommended that you monitor your blood pressure at home to see how your blood pressure changes during the day and in response to lifestyle changes and medical treatment3.

Your doctor may have also recommended that you take blood pressure measurements at home and show them at your next visit to make treatment decisions based on your results.

It’s unlikely that your doctor will change your treatment based on a single blood pressure reading, but if it is consistently high, it’s important for your doctor to know.

How do I take my blood pressure at home?

Blood pressure readings at home should be taken when you are at rest. It is best to find a comfortable spot that is free from any distractions where you can sit and relax for five minutes before you take a reading.

The Heart Foundation recommendation is to record your blood pressure at least twice each time, one minute apart, and to take measurements under the same conditions and same time each day where possible.

If you’ve been advised to take standing blood pressure readings, you should wait at least two minutes between readings.

If you’ve never taken your blood pressure at home before, it’s important that you ask a trained health professional, like your local Blooms The Chemist Pharmacist, to teach you how to use your device3.

How to use a blood pressure monitor

To use a blood pressure monitor, follow the steps below:

  • You will fit an adjustable cuff around your upper arm (roughly at heart level); the cuff will inflate and stop the blood flow through the artery.

  • As the cuff deflates, blood begins to flow again, and the machine measures the vibration in the arterial wall.

What do my readings mean?

Your reading will give you two numbers, a systolic blood pressure reading and a diastolic blood pressure reading.

The larger number is the pressure in the arteries as the heart pumps out blood during each beat, known as systolic blood pressure1.

The smaller number is the pressure as the heart relaxes before the next beat, known as diastolic blood pressure1.

What’s considered a healthy blood pressure reading will vary from person to person, and your doctor will be able to explain what your ideal blood pressure is.

We have a range of at home blood pressure kits are available to make monitoring your levels simple. Each device comes with its own set of instructions to help you learn to use your specific monitor.

Explore our latest range of Omron blood pressure machines below.

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1Better Health Victoria, Blood Pressure, accessed 4 May 2023

2Healthdirect, What is a healthy blood pressure? Accessed 4 May 2023

3Australian Heart Foundation, Measuring your blood pressure at home, accessed 4 May 2023