Best Position to Take Blood Pressure

Knowing your blood pressure increases in importance as you age because you are more at risk of developing cardiovascular-related issues. Moreover, if you already have cardiovascular-related problems, keeping accurate track of your blood pressure is essential.

Now, you obviously don’t want to visit the doctor every time you want to measure your blood pressure, especially if you need to measure your blood pressure daily.

Of course, it’s possible to use home blood pressure monitoring devices to keep track of your blood pressure every day. However, these devices are not always 100% accurate, and a lot of this has to do with user error. Moreover, one of the primary factors in getting an accurate reading is the position you are sitting or lying in while you take the reading.

This article discusses the best position to take blood pressure. In addition, we’ll cover other essential tips so you can get an accurate reading every time.

What Do I Use to Measure Blood Pressure?

To measure your blood pressure at home, you need a monitor. These are simple devices with displays that are easy to read. They feature a cuff that wraps around your arm or wrist, and when you press a button on the display panel, the cuff will inflate.

Using a home blood pressure monitor is exceedingly easy because you put it on and push a button. However, it is possible to get inaccurate or inconsistent results if you don’t use it correctly.

Getting an accurate reading depends on a few factors, and your body’s position is just one of them. So let’s move on and discuss the position you should be in when you take your blood pressure readings at home.

The Best Position to Take Blood Pressure

One of the biggest debates is whether it is better to lie down or sit up when taking blood pressure. Unfortunately, the most recent medical studies contradict slightly older medical studies, and unfortunately, there is no consensus.

Older studies strongly suggested that blood pressure was higher among people lying down instead of sitting. However, more recent studies indicate blood pressure is generally lower when lying down than when sitting; diastolic and systolic blood pressure readings were higher when sitting than when lying down.

When you are lying down, your heart is at the same level as the rest of your body, so your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.

Therefore, most medical professionals recommend taking your blood pressure while sitting up, not lying down. However, there is no consensus on which position is better, lying down or sitting up.

However, common sense would dictate that you want to take your blood pressure readings when they are higher instead of when they are lower. After all, you only spend about a third of your time lying down, whereas the other two-thirds are spent sitting up or even standing. Therefore, it makes sense to take your blood pressure in the same position as you spend most of your time.

In addition, consistency is vital. You should never take your blood pressure sitting up one day and lying down the next. If you take your blood pressure lying down, you always take it lying down.

Best Position to Take Blood Pressure

Tips for Accurate Blood Pressure Readings

Let’s go through a few tips so you can get the most accurate readings when monitoring your blood pressure at home.

  • It is recommended that you sit on a chair with your back straight and supported. In addition, you should sit on a chair that has a straight and hard back, not on something like a sofa.
  • Do not cross your legs, but rather have them bent at a 90-degree angle at the knees so that your feet are also flat on the ground.
  • Your arm should be supported on something like a table or any other flat surface, with your arm being held at heart level.
  • Ensure that the blood pressure monitor’s cuff is placed directly above the bend in your elbow.
  • When you take your blood pressure reading, you want to be still. Also, don’t drink anything caffeinated, exercise, or smoke within 30 minutes of taking your blood pressure.
  • Empty your bladder at least five minutes before taking the readings.
  • Take your blood pressure readings at the same time every day. Remember that blood pressure can change depending on the time of day, so timing is key in terms of accuracy.
  • Getting an accurate blood pressure reading is impossible if you try to do so over your clothing.

Home vs. Professional Monitoring

While home-based blood pressure monitors are generally accurate, they might not be entirely as accurate as those used by medical professionals. Moreover, a medical professional is less likely to make a mistake.

Therefore, home blood pressure monitoring is not a substitute for regular visits to your medical professional.

If you are on blood pressure medication and have normal readings, don’t stop taking it. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make.

Final Thoughts

The best position to take your blood pressure is when sitting down with your back up straight, your feet flat on the ground, your arm supported on a heart level table, and your palm facing upwards. You should not be doing anything, even reading a book, while measuring your blood pressure. In addition, don’t take a blood pressure reading right after exercising or eating.