Instructions to read the blood pressure readings on the most standard meter

Having never used a blood pressure monitor, you face difficulties when reading blood pressure readings right on the device. So let Dien May GREEN guide you how to read the blood pressure readings on the meter for the most accurate!


1 What is a blood pressure reading? Classification of metrics

Blood pressure is a measure of how much pressure the blood exerts on the arteries when when the heart contracts and when the heart relaxes. Specifically, there are 2 types of blood pressure readings that you need to pay attention to:

  • Systolic blood pressure : is the largest blood pressure reading when measured (usually located at the top ), showing the pressure of blood on the arteries when the heart is contracting.
  • Diastolic blood pressure : is the lowest blood pressure reading when measured (usually located at the bottom ), showing the pressure of blood on the arteries when dilated heart.

Usually blood pressure readings are expressed as a ratio, i.e. systolic/diastolic . For example: The measured systolic blood pressure is less than 120 and the diastolic blood pressure is less than 80, symbolizing the measured blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg (for example) of normal blood pressure.

Thế nào là chỉ số huyết áp bình thường?

2 Normal blood pressure and blood pressure levels by age

Blood pressure levels

Classify Diastolic blood pressure (mmHg) Systolic blood pressure (mmHg)
Optimal blood pressure Less than 80 Less than 120
Normal blood pressure 80 – 85 120 – 130
Normal high blood pressure 85 – 90 130 – 140
Mild high blood pressure 90 – 100 140 – 160
Relatively high blood pressure 100 – 110 160 – 180
Severe high blood pressure More than 110 More than 180

Normal blood pressure by age

Classify Normal blood pressure readings (mmHg) Highest value that can be reached (mmHg)
Newborns from 1 to 12 months 75/50 100/70
Children from 1 to 5 years old 80/50 110/80
Children about 6-13 years old 85/55 120/80
Children from 13 – 15 years old 95/60 104/70
Teenagers 15 – 19 years old 105/73 120/81
Young people from 20-24 years old 109/76 132/83
Young people from 25 – 29 years old 121/80 133/84
Adults from 30 – 34 years old 110/77 134/85
Adults from 35 – 39 years old 111/78 135/86
Middle-aged between 40 – 44 125/83 137/87
Middle aged 45 – 49 years old 127/64 139/88
Elderly from 50 – 54 129/85 142/89
Elderly from 55 – 59 131/86 144/90
People over 60 years old 134/87 147/91

3 How to read blood pressure readings on the monitor

Whether it is an electronic blood pressure monitor on the wrist or upper arm, the way to read the readings on the device is usually the same. As Dien May XANH shared above:

  • The blood pressure reading at the top (indicating the systolic blood pressure reading): usually equals the letter SYS .
  • The blood pressure reading at the bottom (indicating the diastolic reading ): usually the same as the letter DIA .

In addition, some sphygmomanometers also show a heart rate measurement, denoted as Pulse .

Máy đo huyết áp tự động Microlife B2 Basic

Based on the displayed readings, you can know what your blood pressure is like: normal, high or low:

  • Normal blood pressure: Ranges from about 90/60 mmHg to 140/90 mmHg . In particular, blood pressure in young people can reach 145/95 mmHg , which is very normal!
  • High blood pressure: A systolic blood pressure reading greater than 140 and a systolic blood pressure reading greater than 90 .
  • Low blood pressure: Diastolic blood pressure reading is less than or equal to 90 and diastolic blood pressure reading is less than 60 .

Máy đo huyết áp tự động Microlife B6 Advanced

To get a blood pressure reading, you need to perform the following measurements:

Step 1 : Ask the sphygmomanometer to lie flat on the bed with their head elevated , or sit still, with their back straight in a chair and legs parallel to the floor.

Step 2 : Use a blood pressure monitor.

  • Using a wrist blood pressure monitor : Wrap the blood pressure cuff around the wrist so that it is about 1 cm from the wrist, the hand is about 45 degrees across the chest, level with the heart.
  • Using a biceps sphygmomanometer : Wrap the bandage around the inner arm so that it is 3 cm above the elbow and at the level of the heart.

Step 3 : Press the Start button to start measuring blood pressure. When there is a "beep", it means that the blood pressure measurement has been completed. You can now read the readings in order from top to bottom, equivalent to blood pressure readings when the heart contracts, the heart relaxes and the heart beats.

tiến hành thực hiện các bước đo huyết áp

4 Common mistakes that cause blood pressure measurement to give false results

Blood pressure readings can be wrong because they are influenced by many external and internal factors. There are common mistakes that lead to false results as follows:

  • The posture of the person measuring blood pressure is not correct : You should sit or lie with the position as instructed above. At the same time, it is necessary to maintain that position for about 5 minutes and keep the body comfortable and relaxed before measuring.
  • Eating and talking while taking blood pressure.
  • Place the blood pressure measurement incorrectly in the wrist, upper arm.
  • One-time blood pressure measurement often does not determine whether blood pressure is high, low, or normal. Therefore, it is recommended to measure blood pressure at least twice a day to monitor and record the measurement results in a notebook (or electronic backup device) for easy monitoring.
  • Take medicine before measuring blood pressure: should be measured in the morning before taking the medicine and in the afternoon after meals about 1 hour.
  • Poor quality blood pressure monitor, or about to run out of battery .
  • Use stimulant drinks before measuring blood pressure (coffee, alcohol, tobacco,…).
  • You should go to the bathroom before taking your blood pressure.

Máy đo huyết áp tự động Kachi MK-167

Hopefully with the information above, Dien May XANH has helped you better understand how blood pressure measurements are as well as some mistakes to avoid to get the most accurate blood pressure measurement results, friends!