Our Waist-to-Height Ratio (WtHR) calculator provides an estimate of your waist-height ratio, a valuable indicator of centralized obesity and potential cardiometabolic risk. Discover practical tips on measuring your waist and assess your body shape using our convenient body shape calculator.

Why is Waist-Height Ratio Important?

The waist-to-height ratio serves as a gauge for body fat distribution, with a higher ratio correlating to an increased risk of obesity-related cardiovascular diseases. This ratio acts as a rough estimate of obesity. While its link to diabetes remains unproven, studies indicate its significance in predicting heart attack, stroke, or mortality. Other indicators of abdominal obesity include Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio, which you can explore further using our BMI calculator and waist-to-hip ratio calculator.

Waist-to-Height Ratio Cut-off Values

After extensive research across fourteen countries, the established cut-off values for WtHR are 0.50 for both men and women. A Shape Chart, based on this ratio, provides a visual representation of health risk categories:

  • Brown to Green (0.4): Take Care – may indicate underweight; no immediate need to decrease waist circumference.
  • Green to Yellow (0.5): OK.
  • Yellow to Red (0.6): Take Action – a signal for adults to consider action and for children to take immediate action.

This chart, developed by Margaret Ashwell, is derived from the review published in The Open Obesity Journal (2011).

How to Measure Your Waist

Follow the WHO’s data gathering protocol by measuring the waist circumference at the midpoint between the last palpable rib and the top of the iliac crest, using a stretch-resistant tape measure. Practically, measure at the smallest circumference above the belly button.

Waist-to-Height Ratio Calculator Functionality

The calculator determines the waist-height ratio by dividing the waist measurement by the height measurement (W / H), both in centimeters. For instance, someone with a 28-inch waist and 5 feet 7 inches height would have a waist-height ratio of 0.42.


How to Calculate Waist-to-Height Ratio?

  1. Measure your waist circumference midway between the lower rib and the iliac crest.
  2. Determine your height.
  3. Ensure consistent units for both measurements.
  4. Divide waist circumference by height to get the waist-to-height ratio.

What is a Good Waist-to-Height Ratio?

A ratio between 0.4 and 0.49 is generally considered healthy. Values below 0.4 may suggest underweight, while those exceeding 0.5 indicate a higher likelihood of health issues related to excess body weight.

What Does Waist-to-Height Ratio Mean?

This ratio identifies the risk of obesity-related diseases and provides insight into body fat distribution, often serving as an alternative to BMI.

What Should be My Waist Size for My Height?

As a rule of thumb, aim for a waist circumference less than half of your height. For example, if you’re 170 cm (5 ft 7 in) tall, a healthy waist circumference falls between approximately 68 cm (26.8 in) and 83.3 cm (32.8 in).