Waist to Hip Ratio Calculator

Enter your waist and hip circumference measurements to calculate your waist to hip ratio.

How to Calculate Waist to Hip Ratio

Waist to hip ratio is another health measurement that can be used to help estimate body fat and healthy weight.

This calculation can tell you if you are carrying excess weight around your belly. Fat in the midsection, also called visceral fat, can cause various health problems. For example, studies have correlated high amounts of abdominal fat with worsening cardiovascular risk factors.[1]

Additionally, a high waist circumference is associated with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.[2]

Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of findings that include central adiposity (measured by increased waist circumference), glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and high blood pressure. By calculating your waist to hip ratio, you can determine if you are at a higher risk for these health issues.

Waist to hip ratio is also noted to be an indicator of obesity. In fact, studies have found that this ratio is a better marker for obesity than BMI alone.[3]

Waist to Hip Ratio Formula

The value is exactly what it sounds like. You take your waist circumference and divide this by your hip circumference. Since this is a ratio, it doesn’t matter if you use centimeters or inches, as long as you use the same units for each measurement.

waist to hip ratio = waist circumferencehip circumference

The value obtained can be compared to a reference chart to determine your health risk status. A higher ratio indicates a higher level of abdominal fat and increased risk of chronic disease.

How and Where to Measure Waist

To measure your waist circumference, stand up tall and exhale fully. Then use a tape measure to measure your waist just above your navel. This is the point where your waist is the smallest.

How and Where to Measure Hips

For your hip circumference measurement, stand up straight and wrap the tape measure around the widest part of the hips as viewed from the side.

For both the waist and hip measurements, be sure not to pull the tape measure too tight and take the measurement where the ends of the tape measure overlap.

Healthy Waist to Hip Ratio

According to the World Health Organization, healthy waist to hip ratios are as follows:[4]

Table showing the health risk status for waist to hip ratios in men and women according to the World Health Organization.
Health Risk Status Men Women
Low < 0.95 < 0.80
Medium 0.96-1.0 0.81-0.85
High >1.0 >0.86

There are a number of factors that play a role in healthy body composition. When combined with other indices, such as BMI and body fat percentage, the waist to hip ratio is a very useful tool in determining overall health and fitness and disease risk.

References

  1. Lee, J. J., Pedley, A., Hoffmann, U., Massaro, J. M., & Fox, C. S., Association of Changes in Abdominal Fat Quantity and Quality With Incident Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2016, 68(14), 1509–1521. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2016.06.067
  2. Qiao, Q., & Nyamdorj, R., Is the association of type II diabetes with waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio stronger than that with body mass index?, European journal of clinical nutrition, 2010, 64(1), 30-34. https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn200993
  3. Sayeed, M. A., Mahtab, H., Latif, Z. A., Khanam, P. A., Ahsan, K. A., Banu, A., & AK, A. K., Waist-to-height ratio is a better obesity index than body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio for predicting diabetes, hypertension and lipidemia, Bangladesh Medical Research Council Bulletin, 2003, 29(1), 1-10. https://europepmc.org/article/med/14674615
  4. World Health Organization, Waist circumference and waist-hip ratio: report of a WHO expert consultation, Geneva, 8-11 December 2008, https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/44583/9789241501491_eng.pdf