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Verify: Yes. Crossing your legs does affect your blood pressure reading

This is especially the case if you cross them at the knees.

SAN ANTONIO — When you go to any doctor's office they often take your vitals first thing, including your blood pressure. That happens for many of us at the dentist's office, and it has some people wondering why. 

One of our viewers, Steph R, who says she has been a dental assistant for nine years, wanted us to verify if crossing your legs had an impact on the blood flowing to and from your heart.


Does crossing your legs affects your blood pressure reading?


  • Dr. Michael Hochman, an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine from the University of Southern California, who is also with the American Heart Association Blood Pressure Task Force.
  • Dr. Gary Guest, the Associate Dean for Patient Care at UT Health San Antonio


This is true.

"Knowing how to measure blood pressure accurately at home, and recognizing mistakes in the physician's office, can help you manage your pressure and avoid unnecessary medication changes," Dr. Hochman said in a recent news release by the American Heart Association.

"Crossing your legs can add two to eight points to your reading," the release added.

 "It can increase, so make your numbers look higher," Dr. Guest said. "If you cross your legs, particularly at the knee, that was at least temporarily raising your blood pressure just temporarily right there." 

So the answer is yes...Crossing your legs affects your blood pressure reading. But crossing your legs at the ankles instead of the knee has less of an effect.

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