The Federal Government’s recent Measure Up campaign is sending a powerful message to us all about the importance of keeping check of our waist measurement. The initiative stems from research findings that chronic disease - such as some cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes - is a fast growing problem in Australia and it’s clear that certain lifestyle behaviours lead to chronic disease. These include being overweight or obese, not getting enough physical activity, smoking, harmful alcohol consumption and unhealthy eating.
The key question of the campaign is ‘How do you measure up?’ and it highlights the vital link between your waist measurement and your health. In a nutshell, the greater your waist measurement, the greater the likelihood of contracting chronic disease in your lifetime.
Measuring your waist is simple using a standard tape measure. Place the tape directly against the skin at your belly button and wrap it around your body while standing (ensuring that the tape measure is horizontal). Make sure the tape is snug but not tight and breathe normally.
What is your waist measurement? Are you risking your health?
- for men, a waist measurement of more than 94cm means you have increased risk of disease. If your waistline measures more than 102cm, your risk is greatly increased
- for women, a waist measurement of more than 80cm puts you at risk of disease, and more than 88cm puts you at a greatly increased risk