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Waist to Hip Ratio - WHR

Why know your Waist to Hip Ratio - WHR?

The smaller your waist is compared to your hips, the better your health outlook. Although the waist to hip ratio, (WHR) is used less often than the body mass index (BMI), it is more specific to measuring fat around the middle which is considered predictive of health.  The smaller your waist to hip ratio is, the better for your health.  So keep track of your waist and hip measurements.


 Waist to Hip Ratio - WHR
Waist to Hip Ratio

To Determine Your Waist to Hip Ratio, WHR:

Measure your Waist - at the level or just above the bellybutton

Measure your Hips - the widest point around the buttocks

To Calculate your Waist to Hip Ratio:  Waist/Hips = WHR

Divide your Waist measurement by your Hip measurement to get your Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR).  Waist divided by Hip = WHR

For example, if your waist measures 36" and your hips measure 40",
then 36 divided by 40 = .9

What Does your Waist to Hip Ratio, WHR, Mean?

Health risks increase with a WHR which is:
- Above .9 for Men and
- Above .85 for Women
* according to the Mayo Clinic.
 (NIH uses above 1.0 for Men and above .8 for Women.)

Apple Shape - The higher the ratio, the more of an apple shape you have, which is associated with more heart health risks.

Pear Shape - The lower the ratio, the more of a pear shape you have, which is associated with less risk.

If you fall into the unacceptable categories below, you need to emphasize slimming your waistline, not increasing you hip size!

 Results of Waist to Hip Ratio, WHR:










< 0.85

0.85 - 0.90

0.90 - 0.95

0.95 - 1.00

> 1.00


< 0.75

0.75 - 0.80

0.80 - 0.85

0.85 - 0.90

> 0.90


For more information on Waist Measurement Ratios  = See Waist to Height Ratio.

For Weight Measurements: Weight to Height Ratio = See BMI or Body Mass Index.

To measure body fat, an Accu-Measure Fitness 3000 Personal Body Fat Tester
caliper can be a useful and accurate tool.


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