Blood Pressure Monitoring

Hi all, just wondering if the arm needs to be at a 45 degree angle for measuring blood pressure in the laying down, seated upright and standing positions with a home monitor? I must have done a million searches on the internet and youtube but cannot find the answer. Just want my results to be accurate as i need to record my blood pressure in those positions each day. Thanks :)

8 Replies

  • Certainly when I was in hospital and they took BP my arm was flat besides me.

    Why not submit an email or web form on the manufacturer's website.

  • Thanks. Hopefully that's the way to do it. It seems logical NOT to lift the arm 45 degrees when laying down but the readings are meant to change quite a bit if you don't do them how your arm is 'meant' to be positioned. Just will be helpful if I know what those positions are meant to be on laying down and standing up for accuracy. I must not be the only person wondering hehe! I only know the 45 degree angle one is correct for seated due to doctors trips i've had when blood pressure is done sitting on a chair. Will call the manufacturer or Cardiology if the answer isn't known on here but am sure someone must be 'in the know' from experience or that they work in Cardiology or another similar area themselves.

  • The angle shouldn't matter, but muscles need to be relaxed wth the arm either supported on something or held loosely by your side with the cuff at the same level as the heart.

  • I spoke to British Heart Foundation. They said if taking the blood pressure reading laying down the arm can be relaxed by your side, sitting the arm can be relaxed (does not need to be 45 degrees necessarily which i thought it needed to be) and the same with standing up the arm can just be by your side. In fact, if you keep your arm at an angle it can increase the reading by about 10 so best to keep a relaxed arm and be consistant by keeping the arm the same way for all readings. Also recommended i do readings on each side of the arm as this can cause variations quite drastically. BHF are really fantastic and helpful :) Thought i would post in case anyone else wondered this also.

  • When you say each side of the arm do you mean back and frontbof say the left arm or do you mean the inner part of the arm on both arms?

    The Microlife WatchBPHome clearly shows that the left arm is at 45 degrees and resting on a table. Recently my doctor took BP manually in the surgery (on right arm) and made sure it was relaxed resting on her desk with fingers pointing straight.

    Interestingly some hospitals always do on left arm and others always on right!!!

  • Oops sorry I meant readings in the normal upper arm area on left and right arm. I thought sitting would have been propping the arm 45 degrees as i've seen it so much at GP appointments but the lady on the helpline put me through to a cardiac nurse who said letting the arm be down is fine and actually better. Maybe it's easier to prop the arm in the surgery as if you are seated on a chair could be harder to let your arm hang down. Left and right arm readings can be different...not sure why that is but I guess the person doing the readings would check both arms if the result seemed inaccurate or too high or too low unexpectedly. I'm going to record my readings and hopefully be able to give the specialists i'm seeing some useful data. :)

  • Sorry but for many years I have been used to reading documents and I am sharp at picking up ambiguities, misinterpretations, etc.

    Sometimes for me the results are pretty consistent and at other times quite significantly different. Both times I dialed 999 the paramedics took readings on both arms.

  • Yeah probably varies from person to person. I'm sure there is a good reason why in some instances both arms are measured. Either way, worth knowing that variations can occur as people may not be aware and it could be helpful to them in some way if both arms are checked. Our health is very important to each of us of course

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