Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors

Written by Sarah Provost
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Blood pressure monitors that strap onto your wrist make it easier to take your readings when at work, traveling or otherwise away from home. These compact, battery-powered devices automatically inflate to the appropriate level, measure blood pressure without the use of a stethoscope, and display the data on a digital screen. Most models also have a memory function which allows the user to keep track of previous measurements. These memory functions can range from 4 to 90 readings, and some models will also provide you with an average.

Until recently, wrist monitors were not recommended by most health care professionals. It was felt that they were not accurate enough to be consistently useful. However, more recent models provide greater accuracy and their calibration has been approved by professional watchdog organizations.

Positioning Is Key for an Accurate Reading

One of the biggest problems encountered by users of wrist monitors is that the position of your arm is very important. The wrist must be held at the level of the heart or the reading will be inaccurate. The most advanced models, however, now use positioning technology to ensure that the wrist is appropriately placed for the best reading.

The greatest advantage of wrist monitors, obviously, is their portability. Although standard arm-cuff monitors are still considered the most accurate, wrist models do fill a need for those who are very mobile. If you decide to use a wrist monitor, take it in to your doctor to have the calibration checked and to learn how to use it correctly.

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