By: Jewel Kessler, NASM CPT/FNS, HAC Trainer and Small Group Director

Your waist-to-hip ratio is a common measurement health and fitness professional use to determine potential risk for lifestyle and weight-related disease.  There is a correlation between chronic disease and fat stored in the midsection.  Excess visceral fat, or abdominal fat, encases the vital organs which may cause more harm than just vanity concerns. Simply being aware of your waist-to-hip ratio will give you a starting point and bring awareness to your current body composition.

To take your waist-to-hip ratio grab a measuring tape like tailor tape you can purchase at the local arts and crafts store. Here is how to find your measurements:

  1. Wear form-fitted clothing like workout clothes.
  2. Measure the smallest part of the waist. Do not hold your breath or draw in your stomach. Just stand and breath-naturally.
  3. Measure the largest part of the hips.
  4. Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement

For example, if you measure yourself and you get 30 inches for your waist and 40 inches for your hips, divide 30 by 40 for a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.75.

A ratio outcome greater than 0.80 for women and 0.95 for men indicates there is cause for concern and attention to diet, exercise, sleep and reduction of stress to help avoid certain health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and more.

Tip: If you are a woman who is currently menstruating, take this test after you are done to avoid inaccurate measurements from bloating.

If you are not sure how to reduce your waist-to-hip measurements consider tracking your food with free and easy apps such as MyFitness Pal, Lose It or Spark People. These apps take your personal stats such as age, weight, height, gender, activity level and calculate your daily calorie intake.  It will also break down your macro nutrients to show you if you are excessively consuming carbohydrates and fats or not eating enough protein. This is a true eye opener for many people so it’s worth the time and effort to track from 3 to 7 days to get a clear picture of your eating habits and what needs attention.

If you are not sure how to develop an effective, safe and dynamic workout routine, try to schedule your complimentary initial training with a HAC Personal Trainer, join a Small Group/Gravity Training or Group X class or ask membership services about other training options at the HAC.

You have a team of fitness professional eager to help you live a healthy lifestyle. Take advantage of your HAC community and all it has to offer to help you lead a fit and healthy life.

Need Help? Schedule A Complimentary Fitness Assessment!