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How To Measure Your Waist Circumference Properly

  • Synopsis: Published: 2010-08-18 (Rev. 2016-01-04) - Learn how to quickly and properly measure your waist circumference to calculate your Body Mass Index. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Ian Langtree at Disabled World.

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"If you carry fat mainly around your waistline, you are more likely to develop issues with your health, such as heart disease and diabetes."

Your waist circumference is usually measured at the level of your belly button, not where you wear your pants.

  • Find the point between your lowest ribs and your hip bones by placing your hands on your hips.
  • Place the tape measure around your waist.
  • Relax your stomach by breathing out gently, but do not suck in your tummy.
  • Be sure that the tape is snug, but does not compress your skin, and is parallel to the floor.
  • Adjust the tape so that it is level around your waist line and take the measurement.

Men - Male waist circumference should be less than 40 inches (102 cm).

Women - Female waist circumference should be less than 35 inches (88 cm).

NOTE: See our Male & Female Waist to Hip Ratio Calculator to calculate your WHR.

If you carry fat mainly around your waistline, you are more likely to develop issues with your health, such as heart disease and diabetes, than if you carry fat mainly in your hip and thigh areas.

If your waist circumference measurement is higher than the above figures you may want to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI).

Also see our Body Fat Percentage Calculator and Height to Weight Ratio Chart.



Related Information:

  1. Disabled World (Oct 11, 2010). Male and Female Waist to Hip Ratio Calculator and Information
    https://www.disabled-world.com/calculators-charts/whr-calculator.php
  2. DeCODE Genetics Inc (Oct 11, 2010). Distinctions Between Obesity and Waist-Hip Ratio
    https://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/obesity-waist-hip.php
  3. Disabled World (Dec 26, 2010). Weight Loss Planning Calculator for Women and Men
    https://www.disabled-world.com/calculators-charts/weight-plan-calculator.php

Information from our Calculators & Charts: Health Weights & Measures section - (Full List).


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