How do I monitor my blood pressure?
This video was created by the Pan American Health Organization for their Virtual Campus for Public Health
How do I choose a blood pressure monitor?
You can purchase a device to measure your blood pressure at home from most pharmacies and stores that sell health products. Here are some helpful tips when shopping for a blood pressure device:
- Make sure the blood pressure device is approved by Hypertension Canada.
- Different blood pressure devices have different features you may be interested in, such as the ability to store your readings, irregular heartbeat detection, and the ability to state your reading out loud if you are visually impaired. Some blood pressure devices are also battery-operated, so they are cordless.
How do I properly measure my blood pressure?
When measuring your blood pressure at home, follow these steps:
Prepare for measuring your blood pressure by:
- Planning to measure your blood pressure in the morning and the evening for 7 days. It is best to do this before your next doctor’s visit or after you have changed medications.
- Not smoking, drinking caffeine, or needing to go to the restroom in the 30 minutes before you measure your blood pressure.
- Applying the blood pressure cuff on your bare arm and sitting quietly for 5 minutes.
Each time you measure your blood pressure you should:
- Sit with your back supported and both your feet flat on the floor.
- Avoid talking and distractions.
- Take two blood pressure readings.
The importance of tracking your blood pressure:
Checking and recording your blood pressure regularly is very useful because it:
- Helps your health care provider know how well it is controlled.
- Helps you track the progress of your treatment and lifestyle changes.
- Is a helpful reminder to stick to your treatment plan.
Keep each of your blood pressure readings in a log. You can do so by downloading our fillable blood pressure log. Keeping a record helps you and your healthcare team know how well your blood pressure is controlled.