Waist measurement

Share this

Waist measurement is a simple check to tell if you are carrying excess body fat around your middle.

Your waist measurement is an indicator of the level of internal fat deposits which coat the heart, kidneys, liver, digestive organs and pancreas. This can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

How to measure your waist:

  1. Find the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs.
  2. Breathe out normally.
  3. Place the tape measure midway between these points and wrap it around your waist.
  4. Check your measurement.

What does your measurement mean?

Your health is at risk if your waist size is:

Men  Over 94 cm (about 37 inches)*
Women Over 80 cm (about 31.5 inches)*

What next?

Making a commitment to maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your health and wellbeing.

If you have checked your waist measurement and you think you’re at risk, there are many simple things you can do.

Achieve a healthy weight

* These guidelines are based on World Health Organization and National Health and Medical Research Council recommendations.

Who the measurements apply to: Waist circumference is less accurate in some situations, including pregnancy, medical conditions where there is distension of the abdomen, and for certain groups such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, South Asian, Chinese and Japanese adults. Waist measurements should only be used for adults to check their risk of developing a chronic disease.