Abdominal circumference: know the ideal measurements and how to measure

The size of the abdominal circumference tends to worry many people, either for the aesthetic part or for health reasons.

From a medical point of view, this data is essential to be aware of the patient’s lifestyle and whether a change of habits is necessary to avoid future complications.

Thinking about it, the Healthy Minute informs you what the abdominal circumference is suitable for men and women and how the measurement process should be in order to be accurate in the measurements obtained. Check out!


What is the importance of measuring waist circumference?

The measurement of the abdominal circumference is important, because it is possible to know if the excess fat in the adipose tissue (localized fat), which is distributed inside the abdominal cavity, is increasing the risks for the individual’s mortality.

In addition, studies have already taken into account the fact that the accumulation of fat in this area indicates a greater propensity for people to develop obesity .

This disease (obesity) is a factor that compromises the health and well-being of the patient, due to the appearance of different comorbidities, such as diabetes , hypertension and sleep apnea , in addition to joint and bone problems. In addition, it also increases the chances of stroke, heart attack and cancer .

Thus, if the abdominal circumference value is beyond the ideal, it is necessary to adjust the routine so that there is a reduction in body fat present in adipose tissue, as with the practice of physical activity and dietary reeducation , preferably with an indicated diet. by nutritionist

It is recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization) for men who are of normal weight that adipose tissue should be 20% to 25% of body weight, while for women it is 15% to 20%.

What is the ideal measure for men and women?

According to the World Health Organization, the ideal abdominal circumference for men is less than or equal to 90 cm, while for women it can be less than or equal to 80 cm.

When it comes to the relationship between the circumference of the abdomen and the circumference of the hip, it cannot be greater than 0.9 in men and 0.8 in women.

According to the table below, it is possible to identify the degree of risk according to the measurement result. Look:

Risk indexWomen Men
Normalless than or equal to 80 cmless than or equal to 90 cm
Averagebetween 80 and 84 cmbetween 90 and 94 cm
Highbetween 84 and 88 cmbetween 94 and 102 cm
Very highover 88 cmabove 102 cm

It is worth mentioning that it is important to measure waist circumference frequently (around 3 months), as it is possible to certify that there is no accumulation of body fat in the region that may be affecting the functioning of essential organs for the body and, thus, contributing to the emergence of several diseases.

How to measure waist circumference?

To measure the abdominal circumference, a measuring tape must be available and then passed around the abdomen (more specifically in the navel line).

In general, it is recommended that a medical professional carry out the measurement process, to ensure the accuracy of the values. In addition, the specialist has parameters to be based on and can advise on the result.

In addition, some exams can be requested as a way to have a more complete assessment, they are:

  • Bioimpedance: collaborates to have the exact amount of fat and muscle in the body;
  • Skin folds: measurement of the thickness of the folds present in the body to assess the percentage of fat;
  • Ultrasonography: helps to identify the fat index below the skin and the thickness of the adipose tissue;
  • Computed tomography: quantify the subcutaneous adipose tissue;
  • Magnetic resonance imaging: to determine the fat lodged in the abdominal cavities close to vital organs.

If you want to maintain the proper waist circumference, you need to have a healthy routine in both food and physical aspects. For this, the consumption of nutritious meals and the regular practice of physical exercises is indispensable.