Knowing your waist circumference

Waist circumference

The measurement of your waist circumference is an alternate option for determining if you are overweight or obese. The derived value is dependent of the amount of intra-abdominal fat deposited around your waist. This is seen mostly in those with ‘apple-shaped’ body outlines compared with those with ‘pear-shaped’ body outlines.

Abdominal obesity is a risk for lifestyle-related diseases (LRDs) or non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Waist circumference

Tips to follow when measuring your waist

  • Take measurement while standing upright.
  • Avoid taking the measurement after a meal.
  • Place the tape measure directly on the skin, but without tightening it.
  • Landmark for measurement is mid-way between your lowest ribs and the top of your hip bones, usually at the level of the umbilicus.
  • Breathe out as you measure.
  • Measure to the nearest centimetre (cm).

Normal values 

Women: 80 cm and below

Men: 94 cm and below


Women: more than 80 cm

Men: more than 94 cm


Women: more than 88 cm

Men: more than 102 cm