Waist-to-Hip Ratio

Having an excess of body fat increases your chance for many health issues. But the location of your excess body fat many be one of the best indicators.

Those with excessive body fat on their hips and thighs are referred to as having a "gynoid" shape, commonly known as pear-shaped. Those with excessive fat along their waist are referred to as having an "android" shaped, commonly known as apple-shaped.

Too much body fat should be worked on no matter where it's located on your body, but those with android shapes are at a greater risk for health issues than those with gynoid shapes.

For our test, a flexible tape measure should be used. The tape should be placed around your skin, but do not pull on the tape to compress your skin. Your waist should be measured at the narrowest part of your mid-section, usually just above your belly button. And your hips should be measured the widest part of you hips, around your buttocks.

To find out your waist-to-hip ratio, perform the following calculation:

Waist measurement:
Hip measurement:
Your waist-to-hip ratio is:  

Waist-to-Hip Ratios
Risk Category
Gold Excellent
< 0.75
< 0.85
Silver Good 0.75 - 0.79 0.85 - 0.89
Average 0.80 - 0.86 0.90 - 0.95
Bronze At Risk > 0.86 > 0.95

Your waist-to-hip ratio can be used to help determine your risk for certain health issues. Those that fall in the bronze, or "At Risk" category, may want to consult with their doctor about whether or not a diet and exercise program is appropriate for them. Your waist-to-hip ratio, along with your BMI and waist circumference, are good indicators of your body composition (go to our Body Composition page within our Fitness Tests section for more detail). Any concerns, let me know and I can help explain your results.

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