Waist to Height Ratio Calculator

Our waist-to-height ratio calculator estimates your waist height ratio, a simple yet effective indicator of centralised obesity and any associated cardiometabolic risk. Read on to find tips on how to measure the waist. You can also check your body shape using our body shape calculator.

Why is waist-height ratio important?

The waist to height ratio is a measure of the distribution of body fat. The higher someone’s waist-height ratio is, the higher their risk of obesity-related cardiovascular diseases, as it is a rough estimate of obesity. Studies have found that a person’s waist-height ratio is a good indicator of their risk of heart attack, stroke or death, while its link to diabetes hasn’t been proved yet. Other indicators of abdominal obesity are body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio. This review, which covers all cardiometabolic outcomes from studies in fourteen different countries, set the following cut-off values for WtHR:

  • 0.50 for men; and
  • 0.50 for women.

Shape chart based on waist-to-height-ratio

After research showed that WHtR was as good a predictor of health outcomes as waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio, a simple “Shape Chart” was produced:

The Ashwell® Shape Chart based on waist-to-height ratio

Description of the Diagram:

  • X-Axis: The chart displays waist circumference along the horizontal axis.
  • Y-Axis: Height is plotted on the vertical axis.
  • Age Range: The chart is applicable to both adults and children over the age of 5.

Interpretation Zones:

  • Brown Zone: Titled “Take Care,” this area suggests that you may be underweight and that reducing your waist circumference is not necessary.
  • Green Zone: Marked as “OK,” this is the optimal range for health.
  • Yellow Zone: Labeled as “Consider Action” for adults and “Take Action” for children, this area indicates potential health risks.
  • Red Zone: Signifying “Take Action,” this zone denotes a high level of health risk.

Cut-Off Values:

  • WHtR 0.4 separates the brown and green zones.
  • WHtR 0.5 distinguishes between the green and yellow zones.
  • WHtR 0.6 demarcates the yellow and red zones.

Origin of the Chart:

The Ashwell® Shape Chart was developed by Dr. Margaret Ashwell and is based on her research publication: “Charts Based on Body Mass Index and Waist-to-Height Ratio to Assess the Health Risks of Obesity: A Review,” published in The Open Obesity Journal in 2011.

By offering a visual and straightforward way to interpret WHtR, the Ashwell® Shape Chart has made it easier for individuals to understand their health risks related to weight and body shape.

How to measure your waist?

According to the WHO’s data gathering protocol, stretch-resistant tape should measure the waist circumference at the midpoint between the last palpable rib and the top of the iliac crest.

Practically, the measurements are usually taken at the smallest circumference of the natural waist, usually just above the belly button.

1Locate MidpointFind the midpoint between your last palpable rib and the top of your iliac crest.
2Use Right TapeUse a stretch-resistant tape measure for accuracy.
3Position TapePosition the tape measure at the located midpoint.
4Level ItMake sure the tape is parallel to the floor.
5Don’t Pull TightDo not pull the tape measure tight, just make sure it is a snug fit.
6Record MeasurementRecord the measurement in centimetres or inches as needed.

Do you know stretching exercise increases height?

The chart presented above was created by Margaret Ashwell and comes from the following publication:

Omni Body Shape Calculator

According to the WHO’s data gathering protocol, the waist circumference should be measured at the midpoint between the last palpable rib and the top of the iliac crest, using a stretch‐resistant tape.

Practically, the measurements are usually taken at the smallest circumference of the natural waist, usually just above the belly button.

Do you know stretching exercise increases height?

What does waist-to-height ratio calculator do?

The waist-to-height ratio calculator is a tool that helps assess body fat distribution. It is increasingly being used to indicate health risks associated with abdominal obesity. Unlike Body Mass Index (BMI), which calculates body fat based on height and weight alone, the waist-to-height ratio provides more information about how fat is distributed around your abdomen. The ratio is calculated as follows:

Waist to Height Ratio (WtHR)= Height Measurement (H)

                                                  Waist Measurement (W)

In this formula, both waist and height should be in the same units, usually centimetres or inches.

Benefits of Using the Waist to Height Ratio Calculator:

The benefits of using the Waist to Height Ratio Calculator are:

  • Better Risk Assessment: This measurement can more accurately identify obesity-related health risks such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease compared to BMI.
  • Simplicity: It’s straightforward to measure, requiring only a tape measure for the waist and a height measure.
  • Age and Sex Independence: WtHR is considered a good indicator across various age groups and sexes.
  • Cost-Effective: No specialised equipment is needed, making it an affordable way to assess risk.


  • Example 1: A person with a 28 in (71 cm) waist and 5 ft 7 in (170 cm) height would have a waist–height ratio of 0.42. This ratio suggests a low health risk.
  • Example 2: Another person with a 40 in (102 cm) waist and the same height (5 ft 7 in or 170 cm) would have a waist-height ratio of 0.60, indicating a higher risk for health complications related to obesity.


  • Underweight: Usually a WtHR under 0.35.
  • Healthy: A WtHR of 0.35 to 0.49.
  • Overweight: A WtHR of 0.50 to 0.59.
  • Obesity: A WtHR of 0.60 and above.

Understanding your body’s health metrics can be a lifesaver—literally. The Waist to Height Ratio Calculator offers an accessible and accurate way to assess your risk factors for obesity-related conditions, including cardiovascular diseases. Coupled with the Ashwell® Shape Chart, this calculator gives you a comprehensive view of your health, guiding you toward meaningful lifestyle changes. So, consider evaluating your waist-to-height ratio before diving into a new fitness regime or diet plan. It’s a simple step that could pave the way to a healthier, more informed you.


How do I use the Waist to Height Ratio Calculator?

To use the calculator, you need to enter your waist circumference (usually measured at the navel level) and height. The calculator will then automatically generate your waist-to-height ratio.

What units should I use?

You can use either imperial (inches, feet) or metric (cm, meters) units. Make sure to select the correct unit type before entering your measurements.

What is a healthy waist-to-height ratio?

A ratio under 0.5 is generally considered healthy. However, these numbers can vary by age, gender, and ethnicity, so it’s best to consult a healthcare provider for a comprehensive health assessment.

How is this different from BMI?

While Body Mass Index (BMI) considers only height and weight, the waist-height ratio considers waist circumference, which can provide additional insight into fat distribution and health risks.

Is this calculator accurate?

The calculator is accurate as a general guideline but should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider for a comprehensive health evaluation.

What are the risks associated with a high Waist to Height Ratio?

A high waist-to-height ratio may indicate a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. It can also be an indicator of central obesity.

Can children use this calculator?

The Waist to Height Ratio Calculator is generally intended for adults. Pediatric health assessment often uses different parameters and should be conducted by a healthcare provider

Is my data stored or shared?

No, all calculations are done locally on your device, and no personal data is stored or shared.