When measuring blood pressure indirectly, oscillations in the cuff pressure are observed. The cuff pressure for which these oscillations reach a maximum and its relationship to the true mean arterial pressure was investigated using a simple one-dimensional theoretical model of the cuff-arm-artery system. Results from this model indicate that the cuff pressure for maximal oscillation is strongly dependent on compression chamber air volume, pulse pressure, and arterial elasticity. Parallel experimental studies indicate general agreement with the theoretical model. The cuff pressure for maximal oscillations appears to provide a reasonable estimation of the true mean arterial pressure provided compression chamber air volume is kept small.