The waist-to-height ratio is one of the most helpful, simple indicators 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”.

Don't forget to print out your results and take them to your doctor on your next visit.

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

< 0.4

You may be too thin

0.4 – 0.5

You are likely within the healthy range

0.5 – 0.6

Your waist-to-height ratio is above normal, and you should consider action
You have more fat around your waist than is healthy. Exercise more and chose better food options. A value close to 0.6 may increase your chances of having testosterone deficiency.2,3 Ask your doctor to check your testosterone level.

> 0.6

Your waist-to-height ratio is above normal and you should take action
Fat around your waist can damage your health and shorten your life expectancy. With the help of your healthcare practitioner, you should start exercising and eating a healthier diet. You may be at an increased risk of developing testosterone deficiency. Ask your doctor to check your testosterone level.

The AMS is a tool for assessing the health-related quality of life in men.
* As a preparation for your appointment with your doctor you can check yourself for symptoms that might be indicative of testosterone deficiency with the Ageing Males’ Symptoms (AMS) scale. A high AMS score combined with a waist-to-height ratio close to 0.6 may increase your chances of having testosterone deficiency.


The Ashwell Shape Chart®

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.

The Ashwell Shape Chart


  • 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. Return to content
  • 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. Return to content
  • 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. Return to content
  • 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. Return to content
  • Ashwell M The Waist-to-Height Ratio Is a Good, Simple Screening Toolfor Cardiometabolic Risk Nutr Today. 2011;46(2):85–89 Return to content