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Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Tip, written by the Health Promotion and Education Team at Heart Research UK

Your waist circumference is an indicator of your risk of developing heart disease. If you carry too much fat around your middle, your risk of developing heart disease is higher, however this risk can be reduced by losing weight. We explain how to measure your waistline and tips for maintaining a healthy waistline.

What is a healthy waistline?

A healthy waistline for men is anything below 94cm (37 inches) and anything below 80cm (31.5 inches) for women. You are at a high risk if your waist circumference is 102cm (40 inches) or over for men or 88cm (34.6 inches) or over for women. If you are a man from African Caribbean, South Asian, Chinese or Japanese origin, a healthy waist circumference is anything below 90cm (35.4 inches).

How to measure your waistline

Checking your waist circumference will help you to identify whether you are carrying too much fat around your middle. To measure your waist, you first need to find the bone at the top of your hip and your bottom rib. You need to wrap a tape measure around your middle at the centre of these two points.

Relax and breathe out when the measurement is taken. Ensure the tape measure is touching your skin, but not pulled too tightly. You can repeat the measure two more times and take the average.

Maintaining a healthy waistline

If your waist circumference is within the healthy range, this is great news. You should keep an eye on your waist circumference by measuring it from time to time. If your waist circumference is above the healthy range, you should try to lose weight through healthy eating and exercise. You can find lots of ideas for healthy eating and physical activity from the healthy tips and recipe pages on our website.

Sign up for our weekly healthy tips at www.heartresearch.org.uk/healthy-tips.

To help keep your heart healthy, why not try out some of our Healthy Heart recipes: https://heartresearch.org.uk/heart-research-uk-recipes-2/.

Or have a look through our Healthy Heart cookbook filled with recipes from top chefs, celebrities and food bloggers: https://heartresearch.org.uk/heart-research-uk-cookbook/.

Why not find out if you’re at risk by measuring your waistline today. There are many steps you can take towards a healthier heart.