Knowing your waist measurement


Your risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, is affected by your weight and also where your body fat is stored. People who carry fat around their waist (apple shaped) could be at increased risk of chronic disease.

Measuring your waist is easy:

  • Measure directly against your skin.
  • Breathe out.
  • Make sure the tape is snug, without compressing the skin.
  • Measure halfway between your lowest rib and the top of your hipbone, roughly in line with your belly button.

For most people a waist measurement higher than the following is associated with an increased risk of chronic disease.

Increased risk:
Men: more than 94 centimetres
Women: more than 80 centimetres

Greatly increased risk:
Men: more than 102 centimetres
Women: more than 88 centimetres

This is only a guide – and measurements can differ between ethnic groups.