Clinical guidance

How to measure your blood pressure

Published January 1, 2022

Avoid these actions before a reading

30 minutes before taking a reading:

  • Avoid caffeine
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid exercise and other activities that raise your blood pressure

How to take a reading

  1. Wear a short-sleeve shirt. Go to the bathroom if you need to (a full bladder can raise your blood pressure).
  2. Sit in a chair at a table. Let the chair support your back and keep your feet flat on the floor, legs uncrossed.
  3. Sit quietly for a minute or two before taking a measurement.
  4. Slide the cuff onto your upper arm with the air tube resting on your inner elbow. The cuff should be on bare skin.
  5. Close the velcro cuff. It should feel snug, but not tight. You should be able to fit one or two fingers under it.
  6. Place your lower arm on the table with the palm of your hand facing up.
  7. With your free hand, start the blood pressure monitor — don’t talk or move during the reading.
  8. The cuff will inflate as it measures your blood pressure.
  9. When the measurement is finished, the monitor displays your blood pressure and heart rate.
  10. Write down your blood pressure and heart rate.
  11. Wait a minute or two and take another reading.
  12. Send us both sets of results in the Firefly Health app
Instructions for 7 tips for an accurate blood pressure reading
7 tips for an accurate blood pressure reading