Hypertension—Measuring blood pressure the right way

PDF Version


  • Patient should not exercise in the preceding 30 minutes
  • Patient should not drink coffee, eat food, smoke or take a decongestant in the preceding hour
  • Ask patient to empty their bladder and bowel
  • Seat patient in a calm and warm environment
  • Allow patient to sit calmly for 5 minutes prior to the measurement


  • Ensure that the device is validated and regularly calibrated according to the manufacturers’ recommendations
  • Ensure that appropriate cuff sizes are available: small, medium, or large according to arm size

WHILE TAKING BLOOD PRESSURE 2012-hypertension-poster-for-clinicians-en-w1280

  1. Seat the patient
  2. Ask patient not to speak
  3. Ensure patient’s back is supported
  4. Ensure patient’s legs are uncrossed
  5. Ensure patient’s feet are flat on the floor
  6. Ensure patient’s arm is supported
  7. Place the cuff mid-arm at heart level
  8. Place bottom of cuff 3 cm from the fold of the elbow on bare arm


  • Measure twice in the morning and twice in the evening for 7 days
  • Discard measurements for day 1
  • Average the numbers

Target value <135/85 mmHg


  • Take two measurements; same arm, same position
  • Average the numbers
  • Do not round the numbers

Target value <140/90 mmHg <130/80 mmHg for diabetes