How to Measure Your Waist

Each Day Measure your waist in the same place on the body.

  • To measure your waist circumference, place a tape measure around the bare abdomen just above your hip bone at about your belly button. Be sure that the tape is snug, but does not compress your skin, and is parallel to the floor. Relax, exhale, and measure your waist. [1]
Note: Waist measurement is not a man’s belt size since men tend to wear their belts wherever it works for them, often below big belly fat.

Daily Measuring of the Waist Consideration

Every morning get out of bed and get on the scale to know your weight and then measure your waist:

  • To have good health habits
  • To change how you do things
  • To know exactly your weight and waist circumference
  • To make a plan for that day according to what the scale and tape measure 'tell' you.
Metabolic Syndrome Waist Measurement Criteria:

Waist Measurement Must Be:

  • If Asian or a small statured man of short height (5’8” or 172 cm) or less, your waist must measure below 33.5 inches (85 cm). (Reference Source: Ministries of Health Japan; however, in the United States, the diagnostic criteria is 35 inches [90 cm] in men, which is rather large for a petite man)
  • If Asian or a small statured woman of petite height which is 5'3" (160 cm) or less, your waist must measure below 31 inches (80 cm).
  • If NOT Asian and you are a man of regular stature and height, your waist must measure below 40 inches (102 cm). Note: 40 inches is still too big and ideally a man of regular stature and height should have a waist size of 36 inches or less. A goal for regular stature and height men is to keep the waist measurement at or below 36 inches.
  • If NOT Asian and you are a woman of regular stature and height, your waist must measure below 35 inches (88 cm). Note: 35 inches is still too big and ideally a woman of regular stature and height should have a waist size below 29 inches. A goal for regular stature and height women is to keep the waist measurement at or below 29 inches.
Belly Fat

Belly fat can be a big indicator of potential trouble. Reducing belly fat is fundamental for preserving health and preventing disease, particularly heart attack, type II diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Instructions Reference Source
1. United States National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).