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9 Surprising Factors You Didn’t Know Were Affecting Your Blood Pressure Reading

Reader's Digest Logo By Alyssa Jung of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 9: Next time the nurse tells you to hop up on the exam table so they can take your blood pressure, don’t. 'When you’re sitting like that with your feet dangling, you’re almost between sitting and standing. This can affect your reading because your blood pressure is different when you’re standing versus lying down,' says Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. The proper position is seated in a chair with your back flat against the chair back and your feet flat on the floor (no crossing allowed!). Any good doctor should accept your request to sit in a chair instead of atop a crinkly exam table, she says.

The way you sit

Next time the nurse tells you to hop up on the exam table so they can take your blood pressure, don’t. 'When you’re sitting like that with your feet dangling, you’re almost between sitting and standing. This can affect your reading because your blood pressure is different when you’re standing versus lying down,' says Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. The proper position is seated in a chair with your back flat against the chair back and your feet flat on the floor (no crossing allowed!). Any good doctor should accept your request to sit in a chair instead of atop a crinkly exam table, she says.
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