Waist Girth or Waist Circumference
Waist Girth or Circumference is a measure of abdominal obesity. Waist Girth alone cannot provide an accurate measure of a persons body fat percentage. It can though identify individuals with central obesity which is considered a high risk factor for heart disease. Waist Girth measures will differ from individual to individual with certain races having lower recommended waist girths.
Monitoring your Waist Girth
For many beginning an exercise program is part of a weight loss plan. It can though be difficult to monitor the amount of fat loss. During exercise muscle mass increases leading to possible increases in body weight. Despite this a simultaneous fat loss may be occurring. Waist Girth is a reliable measure for continued body fat monitoring as increases in muscle mass tend to have little influence on waist girth measurements. Therefore monitoring your waist over the period of a diet or a fitness plan can provide accurate feedback on the effectiveness of the program. Generally a gain or loss of 1cm from the waist equates to a gain or loss of 1kg of body fat. For more information on waist girth see the australian governments measure up campaign.
Measuring your Waist Girth
To measure your waist, place a flexible tape measure between your bottom rib and your hip bone. The tape measure should be approximately in line with your belly button.
- Take your waist measurement on a normal breath out
- Don’t pull or tuck in your stomach
- Ensure the tape measure is level at the front and the back of your body
- The tension of the tape should be such that the tape is held against the skin but not so tight as to cause an indentation in the skin