How to Measure Your Waist

Knowing your waist measurement is useful for various reasons, including health assessments and fitting clothes. Measuring your waist is easy: wrap a soft measuring tape around the narrowest portion of your torso, keeping it straight and taut over your bare skin, and check the mark where the zero end meets the extended tape.


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    Remove or raise clothing. Remove your shirt or raise to just below your chest. To get an accurate measurement, you need to remove any layers of clothing blocking your waist.
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    Find your waist. Use your fingers to find the top of your hips and the base of your rib cage. Your waist is the soft, fleshy section between these two bony parts. It will also be the narrowest part of your torso.
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    Take your measurement. Stand up straight and exhale slowly. Hold the end of the tape measure at your navel and bring it around your waist to the front. The measuring tape should be parallel to the floor and fit snugly around your torso without digging into your skin.[1]
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    Read the tape. Look at the place on the tape where the zero end meets the other end of the tape measure. The location of this meeting point is your waist measurement.[2]
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    Double-check your measurement. Repeat the measurement once more to ensure the accuracy of your original measurement. If it is different from the first time, measure for a third time and take the average of the three numbers.


  • If you want to track changes, measure your waist monthly. This can be useful for monitoring your health or any changes to weight if you need to wear tailored clothing for a special occasion such as a wedding, a prom, or a play, etc.
  • Waist measurements play a big role in your health. Women should have a measurement less than 32 inches (81.3 cm) and men should have a waist less than 38 inches (96.5 cm).

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