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”.

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

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 might be too thin

0.4 – 0.5

You are a healthy pear

0.5 – 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.

> 0.6

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.

* As a preparation for your appointment with your doctor you can check yourself for symptoms that might be indicative of testosterone deficiency with the Aging Males’ Symptoms (AMS) scale. A high AMS score combined with a waist-to-height ratio above 0.5 is strongly suggestive of 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