Information for healthcare professionals

Waist-to-Height ratio calculator

The waist-to-height ratio is the best simple indicator of cardiovascular risk and mortality, followed by waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio.1

For health promotion, you want to keep your waist-to-height ratio below 0.5. This translates to the simple rule “Keep your waist circumference less than half your height”.

For more information on the Waist-to-Height ratio, see “Waist-to-height ratio as screening tool for testosterone deficiency and health risk”.

How to interpret your waist-to-height ratio value:

below 0.4 = you may be too thin

0.45 = you are a healthy pear

0.5 to 0.6 = you are a pear-apple *

You have more fat around your waist than is healthy. Exercise more and chose better food options. A value close to 0.6 may indicate that you have testosterone deficiency.2,3 Ask your doctor to check your testosterone level.

above 0.61 = you are an unhealthy apple *

The fat around your waist is damaging your health and shortening your life expectancy.4 You need to start exercising and eating healthier. You likely have testosterone deficiency.2,3 Tell your doctor you want to have your testosterone level checked

* If your waist-to-height ratio is over 0.5 we suggest you check yourself with the Aging Males’ Symptoms (AMS) scale. The AMS questionnaire asks about symptoms that may be indicative of testosterone deficiency. A high AMS score combined with a waist-to-height ratio above 0.5 is strongly suggestive of testosterone deficiency.

Measure waist at the navel.

In the Ashwell Shape Chart® below you can easily see graphically – based on your waist and height measure – in which zone you are, and see how much you need to reduce your waist to move into a healthier zone.


  1. Schneider HJ, Glaesmer H, Klotsche J, et al. Accuracy of anthropometric indicators of obesity to predict cardiovascular risk. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 2007;92(2):589-594.
  2. Allan CA, Peverill RE, Strauss BJ, Forbes EA, McLachlan RI. Waist-to-height ratio as a predictor of serum testosterone in ageing men with symptoms of androgen deficiency. Asian journal of andrology. 2011;13(3):424-431.
  3. Svartberg J, von Muhlen D, Sundsfjord J, Jorde R. Waist circumference and testosterone levels in community dwelling men. The Tromso study. Eur. J. Epidemiol. 2004;19(7):657-663.
  4. Ashwell M, Mayhew L, Richardson J, Rickayzen B. Waist-to-height ratio is more predictive of years of life lost than body mass index. PloS one. 2014;9(9):e103483.

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Last updated: 2016