The Measuring Tape Movement

Original Image by Jamie via Flickr
Original Image by Jamie via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

Everyone knows it’s not healthy to fixate on the numerical size you are.  The scale can only tell you your numerical weight.  When’s the last time you measured yourself with a measuring tape?

Critics state measuring oneself with a measuring tape weekly can provide a better indication of health and fluctuations better than a scale, as a scale is not a clear indicator of lean muscle. Not only can one zero in on the specific part of the body that has gained or lost weight, but by measuring waist, thighs upper arms and hips. Weekly measures of one’s waist can decrease abdominal obesity and long term chance of obesity.

“A quarter-pound fat loss may not register on the scale but could mean millimeters on a tape measure,” says Cynthia Sass, RD

As stated before, measuring waist to hip ratio is a better indicator of health than calculating BMI, which is calculated using one’s height and weight. It’s hoped with this new measuring method, one will be more focused on lowering risk of heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure and overall health.

Tips for using Measuring tape:

Original Image by Adrian Clark via Flickr
Original Image by Adrian Clark via Flickr
  • Stand straight
  • Use a mirror
  • Stay relaxed
  • Wear thin clothing or nothing at all
  • Don’t exhale strongly or try to suck in your belly to make your waist appear smaller
  • When measuring waist, place measuring tape close to belly button
  • When measuring hips, place measuring tape around widest part of hips
  • Reference range: women should aim for a waist circumference less than 35 inches/88 centimeters; men should aim for less than 40 inches/102 centimeters when measured

If you don’t have a measuring tape in your house, it can be purchased pretty inexpensively at any local stores.  Decreasing your reliance on what the scale states can make a world of difference and hopefully increase your overall health!


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