There are wrong ways and right ways to measure your blood pressure. Watch Harvard Heart Letter Editor Patrick Skerrett demonstrate both.
Your blood pressure changes from hour to hour, sometimes minute to minute. Standing up from a chair, watching an exciting show, eating a meal, or being stressed — perhaps because of a visit to the doctor — all influence your blood pressure. Blood pressure readings jump around so much that you are more likely to get an accurate reading if you check it at home rather than in the doctor's office, reports the September 2008 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter.
The idea underlies a new recommendation from the American Heart Association urging individuals with high blood pressure or at high risk for developing it to become do-it-yourselfers, for a number of reasons:
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