Sports Coach Logo Sports Coach Training Principles Fitness Components Sports Coach Logo



text Translator



site search facility





Waist to Hip Ratio Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but, in the analysis, we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.


The objective of this test is to monitor the athlete's waist to hip ratio which has been shown to be related to the risk of coronary heart disease - Han (1995)[1] and Dobbelsteyn (2001)[2].

Required Resources

To undertake this test, you will require:

  • Tape measure
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

  • The athlete is to stand with good posture and relax
  • The assistant measures and records the athlete's hips and waist measurements (inches)
  • The assistant divides the waist measurement by the hip measurement and records the result (hip to waist ratio)


The following normative data is available for this test.

The following table provides general guidelines for acceptable levels for the hip to waist ratio - Han (1991)[1].

  Acceptable Unacceptable
Rate Excellent Good Average High
Male < 0.85 0.85 - 0.90 0.90 - 0.95 > 0.95
Female < 0.75 0.75 - 0.80 0.80 - 0.85 > 0.85

For an evaluation of your hip to waist ratio select the gender, enter the waist and hip measurements and then select the 'Assessment' button.

Gender Waist Hip     Ratio -


Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement.

Target Group

This test is often used to determine the coronary artery disease risk factor associated with obesity


Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore the test reliability.


Test validity refers to the degree to which the test actually measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor the effect of training on the athlete's physical development. Not a good predictor of percentage body fat, however, can be used to indicate changes in body composition over time.


  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • Can be conducted almost anywhere


  • Assistant required to administer the test


  1. HAN, TS et al. (1995) Waist circumference action levels in the identification of cardiovascular risk factors: prevalence study in a random sample". BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 311 (7017), p. 1401-1405
  2. DOBBELSTEYN, C.J. et al. (2001) A comparative evaluation of waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index as indicators of cardiovascular risk factors. The Canadian Heart Health Surveys. Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord., 25 (5), p. 652–61

Related References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • TASSINARY, L. G.and HANSEN, K. A. (1998) A critical test of the waist-to-hip-ratio hypothesis of female physical attractiveness. Psychological Science, 9 (2), p. 150-155
  • NEOVIUS, M. et al. (2004) BMI, waist-circumference and waist-hip-ratio as diagnostic tests for fatness in adolescents. International journal of obesity, 29 (2), p. 163-169
  • QIAO, Q. and NYAMDORJ, R. (2009) Is the association of type II diabetes with waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio stronger than that with body mass index&quest. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 64 (1), p. 30-34

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2008) Waist to Hip Ratio Test [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: