How To Measure Your Waist Circumference Properly

Ian C. Langtree Content Writer/Editor for Disabled World
Published: 2010/08/18 - Updated: 2024/03/07
Publication Type: Charts / Graphs / Tables
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: Learn how to quickly and properly measure your waist circumference in order to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). Your waist circumference is usually measured at the level of your belly button, not where you wear your pants. If you carry fat mainly around your waistline, you are more likely to develop issues with your health.

Introduction

Although your BMI measurement is a good method of determine your body mass index - it is calculated from your height and weight ratio, measuring your waist line is also just as important to assess your body for potential risks of obesity related diseases.

Main Digest

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

It is recommended that you measure your waist circumference when standing in front of a mirror in your undergarments or without any clothing that would interfere with taking the measurement.

Continued below image.
Diagram of a man with excess belly fat having his waistline measured by a doctor.
Diagram of a man with excess belly fat having his waistline measured by a doctor.
Continued...

How to Take a Measurement of Your Waistline

Men:

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

Women:

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

Health Issues

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

Men and women with abdominal obesity - which is defined as males with waistlines over 40 inches and women with waistlines over 35 inches - may already be susceptible to health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers.

Even a small weight loss (between 5 and 10 percent of your current weight) will help lower your risk of developing diseases associated with obesity. Ideally, we should aim to keep our waist measurement less than half that of our height. For example a 6ft (72 inch) tall man should aim to keep his waist less than 36 inches, and a 5ft 4in (64 inch) woman should keep her waist measurement under 32 inches.

See our Male and Female Waist to Hip Ratio Calculator to calculate your WHR.

Resources Providing Relevant Information

Note: Talk to your doctor to see whether you are at an increased risk, or whether you should lose weight. In addition your doctor will evaluate your BMI, waist measurement, and other risk factors for heart disease.

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Cite This Page (APA): Langtree, I. C. (2010, August 18). How To Measure Your Waist Circumference Properly. Disabled World. Retrieved May 20, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/calculators-charts/waist-circumference.php

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