Waist vs Hips: Difference and Comparison

Though the hips and waist are linked together, they have different functions.

Many individuals try to control their waistlines and hips as measures of good looks and fitness. But, they have a greater role to play in the health sector.

Waists help to show us whether a person is obese or not. Hips have the most essential part to play in walking and running. Doctors have fixed a ratio which interprets whether you are physically healthy.

These measurements vary in men and women. 

Key Takeaways

  1. The waist is the narrowest part of the torso, located above the hips and below the ribcage.
  2. The hips are the widest part of the body below the waist, including the hip bones and surrounding muscle and fat tissue.
  3. The waist-to-hip ratio is used as an indicator of health, with higher ratios associated with increased risk of certain health conditions.

Waist vs Hips

The difference between the waist and hips is that hips need to carry a major portion of the body weight as they aid in different movements. On the other hand, waists do not have to take part in carrying any body weight. 

Waist vs Hips

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWaistHips
FormationMuscles, fat, and some major organs are in the waist region.The hips are the meeting point of the pelvis and the thigh bone.
IdentificationThe narrow portion of the human body between the ribs on the top and the pelvis on the bottom is identified as the waist.The wide thick portion located behind the body is the hips.
MeasurementThe midpoint of the lowest rib and iliac crest is measured as the waist circumference.The part of the buttocks where it is at the widest is measured as the circumference of the hips.
Male Males tend to have a wider waistline as compared to females.Males have less dense hips in comparison to females.
FemaleFemales have a narrow waistline as compared to men.When compared to males, females have denser hips.

What is a Waist?

Essentially the ‘middle part of the body’- the waist is the slimmest part of the human torso. However, there is a difference between the terms waist and waistline.

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They are measured differently. A waistline is an area where the waist is at its narrowest. 

It might be because of the waistline that people sometimes have a problem understanding where the waist or the hips start and begin. 

Males have a broader waist in comparison to females. The fat cells in men function to be around the waistline, making it thicker.

On the other hand, women want a slim waistline for which they work out. A waistline is quite an important factor when it comes to obesity.

The waist-hip ratio is an indicator if you are obese or not.

The waist comprises fat cells, muscles, tissues, and some vital internal organs.

Unlike the hips, they do not have a primary function in movement, but they help in movement by supporting and aiding the necessary muscles. 


What are Hips? 

The ball and socket joint that aids in all of the important movements of the human body, like walking, running, crawling, and sitting, is known as the hip.

Large muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones are all present in the hip. It bears a major portion of the body weight and is one of the largest joints in the human body.

For these various reasons, it also aids in maintaining the equilibrium of the human body. 

A hip ratio is important as it predicts various diseases like heart attacks and arthritis.

Maintaining a good posture for the sake of your hips is also important, as hip displacement can lead to permanent damaged movement. 

The waist measurement is taken from a point 2” below the umbilicus. 


Main Differences Between Waist and Hips

  1. The part of the human body’s abdomen between the ribcage and the hips is known as the waist. On the other hand, hips are situated laterally to the gluteal region. 
  2. Many health issues are also related when discussing the topic of waist and hips. In such a scenario, the ideal waist-hip ratio of a woman is 0.7. On the other hand, men having a hip-waist ratio of 0.9 is considered to be healthy. 
  3. When discussing measurements, the waist is measured from a point that lies 2” over the umbilicus. The hips are measured at a point that lies 2” below the umbilicus. 
  4. The waist does not contain any major bones as such. It has several major organs, muscles, tissues, and fat. But, the hip is made up of several functional joints. The fusion of the pelvis and three bones (ilium, ischium, and pubis) form the hip bone. 
  5. A waist has no specific function. It has a couple of muscles that aid in various body movements. On the other hand, hips play an essential role in running, crawling, or walking. 
  6. Another major function of the hips is that they help maintain the human body equilibrium as they are involved in body movements. But, when it comes to the waist, they are not initially movement in movement, so they do not contribute anything to maintaining the body’s equilibrium. 
  7. Apart from several health problem indicators, hips and waist are integral in telling about a person’s looks. People exercise and maintain the shape of these hips and waist. To look beautiful, women tend to exercise to have a narrower waist. On the other hand, when it comes to hips, they work out to have a curvier shape. 
Difference Between Waist and Hips
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2796.1997.00235.x
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Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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27 thoughts on “Waist vs Hips: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The authors of this article have done a great job explaining such complex medical concepts in a simple and accessible manner.

  2. This is quite an eye-opening discussion. The importance of maintaining a healthy waist-hip ratio is something more people need to understand.

  3. I appreciate how this article dives into the scientific details of the waist and hips. It’s opened my eyes to a whole new perspective.

  4. The comparison between the waist and hips is well-explained and really highlights the importance of both in different functions.

    • Absolutely, it’s crucial to understand the distinct roles of the waist and hips for our overall health and mobility.

    • This kind of detailed comparison is so insightful. I didn’t realize just how important our waist and hips are for different aspects of our health.


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