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Lifestyle 365, Part I: Waist to Hip Ratio

by Jessica Oliver

Lifestyle 365 blog series
Part 1: Waist to Hip Ratio

Body composition is used to describe the percentages of fat, bone, water and muscle in human bodies. Because muscular tissue takes up less space in our body than fat tissue, our body composition, as well as our weight, determines leanness. Sometimes even the same person can look and feel completely different with the same weight; this is why we focus on many different body composition indicators with our Lifestyle 365 program. Two techniques that are the most common are waist to hip ratio and body mass index (BMI). We will focus on waist to hip ratio in this Lifestyle 365 blog series, next is BMI.

Waist circumference

Waist circumference can be measured by placing a tape measure around the smallest part of the waist or between the lowest rib and the iliac crest. The size of a person's waist or waist circumference, indicates abdominal obesity. Excess abdominal fat is a risk factor for developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other obesity related diseases.

A healthy waist circumference measurement should be:

  • At or below 40 inches for men
  • At or below 35 inches for women

waist-ace-chart.png

American Council on Exercise, April 2014.

Hip Circumference

Hip circumference can be measured by placing a tape measure around the largest part of the buttocks or along your hip bones.

Waist to Hip Ratio

Waist to Hip Ratio is a quick, but accurate way to estimate what your health risk is. It works hand in hand with where your body prefers to store fat, which is also referred to as your body type. This is important because where you store your fat has an impact on your health and on how easily you can lose the fat.

whr-ace-chart.png
American Council on Exercise, April 2014

Different body types

The Waist to Hip Ratio looks at where a person carries their weight and the health risks associated with the weight. People who carry their weight in the waist (apple-shaped) can be more prone to health problems, because it indicates a greater amount of visceral fat surrounding the vital organs. Having a larger quantity of visceral fat increases your risks for the following health conditions:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease

People who carry weight in the hips, buttocks and thighs (pear-shaped), store subcutaneous fat, which is on the outside of the muscles. In terms of health, it’s much better to carry weight as subcutaneous fat in the hips and thighs than as visceral fat in the belly.

Your personal fitness program with a coach

With our Lifestyle 365 program, we create a personalized fitness program just for you to help meet your goals and a wellness coaches holds you accountable with weekly check-ins, and tracks your progress with several measurements (HRA), such as Waist to Hip Ratio. Contact us to setup a consultation with a wellness coach to get started with Lifestyle 365.


Related Stories:

Wellness Coaches

What is Lifestyle 365?

What is an HRA?

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