Waist circumference: How to measure it

Waist circumference is the distance around the abdomen. This measurement is used to assess the degree of abdominal obesity, which is a greater health risk.

How to measure waist circumference?


  • Remove any clothing from the abdominal area.
  • Remove the belt if you wear one.
  • Stand straight in front of a mirror.
  • Locate the upper border of your hipbones. It can be done by pressing upwards and inwards by your fingers.
  • Wrap the measuring tape around your waist at the level of the upper border of your hipbones.
  • See the picture; the red line indicates the correct level.
how to measure waist circumference
How to measure waist circumference.
  • The measuring tape should be in parallel to the ground.
  • Make sure the tape is not twisted.
  • Make the tape fit comfortably around your waist.
  • Ensure the tape is sung properly. It should not be pushed in to the skin.
  • Take the reading while breathing out normally. Do not suck in the stomach.

What is healthy waist circumference?


Increased waist circumference is associated with high incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke. So, it is important to maintain your waistline in a healthy range.

The healthy range of abdominal girth is depends on gender and ethnicity.

In general, healthy waist measurement for European  men is less than 94cm.
That for women is less than 80cm. For Asian men, less than 90cm is considered to be healthy.

Measuring your waist helps detect possible health risks that come with overweight and obesity. More your waistline, more risk of developing health problems.

It is said that waist circumference may be a better indicator of obesity related health problems than BMI. Because, carrying more fat around your waist put you much greater risk of developing heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Accumulation of fat in your belly region makes your body apple shaped.

Some people think that doing abdominal exercises can reduce the waistline. However, it is not true. You must reduce your body weight by dietary modifications and increased physical activity.