The effect of different body positions on blood pressure

J Clin Nurs. 2007 Jan;16(1):137-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2005.01494.x.


Aim: The aim of the present study was to test the effects of different body on BP readings in a Turkish healthy young adults.

Background: It is known that many factors influence an individual's blood pressure measurement. However, guideliness for accurately measuring blood pressure inconsistently specify that patient's position and they should keep feet flat on the floor. Although there are more information on arm position in blood pressure measurement, surprisingly little information can be found in the literature with respect to the influence of body position on the blood pressure readings in healthy young people.

Methods: A total of 157 healthy young students who had accepted to participate in the study were randomly selected. In all subjects the blood pressure was measured subsequently in four positions: Sitting blood pressure was taken from the left arm, which was flexed at the elbow and supported at the heart level on the chair. After at least one minute of standing, the blood pressure was then taken standing, with the arm supported at the elbow and the cuff at the heart level. After one minute of rest, the blood pressure was subsequently taken supine position. Finally, after one minute the blood pressure was again taken in this last position with supine position with crossed legs.

Results: The blood pressure tended to drop in the standing position compared with the sitting, supine and supine with crossed legs. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure was the highest in supine position when compared the other positions. There was a difference between systolic blood pressures and this was statistically significant (P < 0.001) but the difference between diastolic blood pressure was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). All changes in systolic blood pressure were statistically significant except those from supine to supine position with crossed legs.

Relevance to clinical practice: When assessing blood pressure it is important to take the position of the patient into consideration. Also, blood pressure measurement must be taken in sitting position with the arms supported at the right a trial level.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure Determination* / methods
  • Blood Pressure Determination* / nursing
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Posture*