Updated 07 July 2014

Pre-test advice

Pre-test advice and your position during the test.

  • Be early for your appointment.
  • Take something to read or do, and relax.
  • Do not take coffee or cola 30 – 60 minutes before testing.
  • Do not smoke for 30 - 60 minutes before the test.
  • Don’t do vigorous exercise beforehand.

Your position during the test

  • Five minutes of small talk is recommended to relax you.
  • You will most likely be sitting in a chair during the test.
  • Sit comfortably, with your back supported.
    Your arm must be bare and supported at heart level.
  • The cuff fitted around your upper arm must feel comfortable.
  • If you are over 60 years old or have diabetes your test will sometimes be repeated after standing for about two minutes. This is to see if you have postural hypotension, when standing up abruptly causes a sharp fall in blood pressure.

(Dr Kathleen Coetzee, MBChB)

Read more:
Medication for hypertension
Am I at risk for hypertension?


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Dr Jacomien de Villiers qualified as a specialist physician at the University of Pretoria in 1995. She worked at various clinics at the Department of Internal Medicine, Steve Biko Hospital, these include General Internal Medicine, Hypertension, Diabetes and Cardiology. She has run a private practice since 2001, as well as a consultant post at the Endocrine Clinic of Steve Biko Hospital.

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