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Hip Circumference

Last updated: February 21, 2019

What Does Hip Circumference Mean?

Hip circumference is a measurement of the hips, using a tape measure, to assess the spatial distance between each corresponding hipbone in proportion to the buttocks. In clinical settings, a tensile tape measure covers the dimensions of the hips, parallel to the back to ensure a level measurement following exhalation by the patient. A clinician must maintain a firm grasp of the tape measure to ensure it conforms to the shape of the hips when documenting test results.

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WorkplaceTesting Explains Hip Circumference

Hip circumference can be an important measurement in determining cumulative body fat around the midsection that may reflect an unhealthy lifestyle. The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is a reliable assessment that incorporates hip circumference and waist circumference as an index for confirming excess body fat. Consequently, substantial fat tissue in the abdominal area often carries epidemiological implications where individuals are candidates for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

A waist range above 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women can be detrimental to health. Individuals with measurements at or above that range should consider arranging a consultation with a physician to garner advice concerning weight loss options. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a WHR range that surpasses the normal parameters of 0.9 (or less) in men and 0.85 (or less) in women means that individuals are more susceptible to cardiovascular conditions. However, isolating waist circumference may be a more practical approach than using WHR exclusively in hip circumference measurement, especially, since weight gain fluctuations depend on fat accumulation or strong musculature of the hips.

In the workplace, obesity is a persistent health issue with comorbidity factors linked to heart attacks and strokes, posing liability concerns to employers. Hip circumference often complements waist circumference where patients may be at risk for diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and heart disease. Employers that foster a culture of proper diet and nutrition can motivate their workforce to adopt healthy lifestyles and consequently reduce the risk of several diseases and health issues.

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