Position to sit in for taking blood pressure at home

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Hi After mDr saying she thought my high readings in surgery were caused by white coat syndrome she asked me to do seven days at home.

I did and it averaged out at 127/74 but some said I am doing it wrong as I sit in an arm chair with arm on the arm.

Then I compared to table and because I was very anxious then and it went up to 159/89 I went back to chair it was the same but did go down after 5 tries and consciously relaxing, went to 123/74 so is it nerves or am I sitting wrong.

Felt anxious all day since being told this.

Thanks for reading

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    In the surgery my dr always has me sitting relaxed with my back well supported. She puts the cuff on and supports my arm, palm  of hand upwards, level roughly with my thigh. If I take it at home I sit in an armchair with my arm supported on the seat cushion .

    I'm not sure there is any golden rule; you shouldn't cross your legs and your cuff arm should be supported and lower than your heart. And relax, take a few deep breaths first. Take 2 readings, 2 mins apart and record them.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jane thank you for your reply, like I said I had been happy all week and then read you should sit at table and that freaked me cause thought my numbers were going to go from 120s to much higher.

      I will try to stay chilled and do a few next week.

      Just not sure I should sit in easy chair

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    • Posted

      Hi - totally agree with Jane - that is the advice given to me by gp and practice nurse - it's amazing how much blood pressure can go up when we worry - my bp is always high when in with gp so white coat hypertension affects a lot of people.
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    • Posted

      Hi Mollymac. Too right about worry causing the BP to rise. mine was nicely under control and was on the lowest dose of Losartan and I was starting to ask if I needed medication at all.

      Then suddenly everything changed. My husband was ill for several

      weeks before being taken into hospital the day before Christmas Eve.  After tests and scans we were  told on New Years's Eve that he has an inoperable cancer. I was visiting daily of course, a round journey of almost 20 miles. During all this my BP went throught the roof! From averaging around <125 0=""> to nearer 160/90. In 10 days I have to visit the dr for a BP review and I imagine my meds will increase.cry

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    • Posted

      So sorry to hear about hubby, will pray for him and you, I'm not suprised yours has gone up, I think that as it's stress related you might find it will eventually stabalise itself but best to go Drs and get his opinion. Hugs on the way
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    • Posted

      Hi Jane - so sorry to hear the news about your husband - most definitely stress like this concerning a loved one does increase blood pressure - remembering both of you in my prayers and please take good care of yourself as well as your husband.
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    • Posted

      Jane, so sorry to hear about your hubby and the effect it is having on your blood pressure.  I had such a similar experience prior to my high BP, with my hubby being diagnosed with prostate cancer, then our son having a stroke, then hubby collapsed in the early hours on the bathroom floor and was rushed to A&E.  They fitted him with a pacemaker and he's doing fine......my blood pressure rocketed and is refusing to improve.  I hope you will be luckier, and lots of good luck wishes to your husband - hopefully they will be able to stabilise things for him.  Do try and take care of yourself through this.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Mrs O. Yes it was a blow and Christmas and New Year were a blur. We got  the diagnosis on the day of my daughter's 50th birthday party, a birthday in the future I shall never forget. They installed a biliary drain/stent and now he seems a load better, jaundice all gone for now and liver numbers back on the right track. It's in the bile duct and there is nothing they can do, especially if you're 84  i am so grateful to have a wonderful GP and she was the one who fast tracked him for numerous tests and scans too.  His BP was giving cause for concern because it was too low, averagine at <100 systolic and mine of course did the opposite!! it seems worse first thing in the morning, today it was 170/100 but the evening readings are fine. systolic="" and="" mine="" of="" course="" did="" the="" opposite!!="" it="" seems="" worse="" first="" thing="" in="" the="" morning,="" today="" it="" was="" 170/100="" but="" the="" evening="" readings="" are="">
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  • Posted

    Hi Alexandria,

    A bunch of people have answered this already, but I thought I'd just post this snippet from the JNC7 hypertension guidelines (which the doctors are supposed to follow):

    "Persons should be seated quietly for at least 5 minutes in a chair (rather than on an exam table), with feet on the floor, and arm supported at heart level. "

    So the arm rest vs. table question is really just a question of getting the monitor to heart level. If the monitor is at heart level when your arm is resting on the arm-rest, then there is no problem.

    By the way, the JNC7 guidelines are really good if you just want to read about blood pressure from a physician's perspective.

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