Where Is My Waist: Well I have now had... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Where Is My Waist

MichaelJHHeart Star

Well I have now had my pre-rehab assessment. Despite filling in a huge leaflet before attending I had to go through a similar but different form with the nurse. One question was waist size which ideally for me should under 37". As my trousers are an 1" under I thought "A win". But no they measure it above the navel which took me slightly over!

So my waist size is not the same as in the menswear department. How confusing is that?

When asked my status I nearly said Professional Form Filler as currently I seem to get one at every appointment!

23 Replies

It's amazing the difference in rehab protocol depending where you live. I never had to fill any forms in at all prior to starting. Where I am you get a call from rehab team when to come along to class have a wee 10 minute chat with team then straight in. Don't know why this is the case. Seems to work really well this way. Maybe if your rehab is outside hospital they maybe aren't up to date with your treatment etc. Mines is inhouse. Makes sense I suppose if you break it down

MichaelJHHeart Star in reply to Shoshov

In my area the major hospitals refer all major heart surgery (stents, pacing, etc. are done locally) to either Royal Brompton and Harefield or Papworth. My rehab is back at my referring hospital's cardiology department so I expected to know most of my details. In fact the nurse had a copy of the post-op report that had been sent back to them. So doing a second long form did seem a bit odd. Like the speed of access to Urgent Chest Pain Clinics I commented on the other day it seems every NHS Trust does its own thing.

Shoshov in reply to MichaelJH

Like most British things. They need a piece of paper for everything. Lol

Hidden in reply to Shoshov

In Australia we have hundreds of different rehab programs run by hospitals etc and they all have their own processes, develop their own lectures and programs etc. Given the universality of the recommended education and exercise regimes for cardiac rehabilitation this is a total waste of scarce funds and I know its the same in New Zealand, Britain etc. There should be one country wide standard for the education sessions (nutrition, exercise, stress management, medications etc). I also have a neurological disorder called dystonia and can't write so I give them the form back and dictate and make them fill it out!

I start my rehab next week, 6 weeks after surgery, have filled in an equally long form, covering both medical issues and mental state. I have a pre-assessment meeting for 1/2 hour then a 2 hour class. All seems very thorough and looking forward to it.

MichaelJHHeart Star in reply to Cowpat2

It sounds much like the first form I had. The second one done with the nurse seemed to have slightly more medical deatil and slightly less on the mental side. The assessments are done on a different day to the cardiac sessions as it is a multipurpose gym that is used for "Hip and Knee" rehab and other purposes.

stevejb1810 in reply to Cowpat2

Your intro to rehab experience mirrored my own. I found the rehab very dull and certainly not worth the form filling

I never got any rehab so thankfully avoided the incessant form filling 😺.


About 2-3 inches higher than you think it is :-)

If only the nhs database project had been completed then we wouldn't need to do this. Instead we have reams of paper. My current set of notes, volume 3, is around 50mm thick and it is just not possible to find anything in them. This is why i always have to tell the consultant what medication i have which she writes out in her awful handwriting. Her notes are more secure than an enigma machine

I’ve just finished my third week of rehab, 2 hourly sessions per week for 12 week. The first time I went was for an assessment with one of the team who asked me a lot of questions & he filled the form in when needed as he already had a lot of information from hospital in Liverpool where I had my Surgery & my local hospital who had referred me & where I was an inpatient post op due to electrolyte imbalance. I only had to sign a consent form to begin cardiac rehab. I wasn’t measured only had BP, EEG & weight taken. The next session was a stress test on the treadmill & then a week later I finally began my exercises. BP & pulse is taken before & after the session each time.

Only 18 sessions & 6 more talks to go!!! I live on the Wirral.

Every area seems to be different.


MichaelJHHeart Star

The puzzling thing to me is that the 37" waist size for my gender and ethnicity applies to all heights. I am over 6' but would imagine someone a foot shorter would look quite stocky with my waist and chest measurements!

Hidden in reply to MichaelJH

BMI, waist measurements etc are all approximations, marginally useful for me as a personal trainer but not for medical purposes. I have a regular scan with my dietician that tells me weight, % body fat, % muscle mass etc - much more accurate and useful for determining risk and assessing progress.

I didn’t think it was your waist measurement alone. I thought it was hip to waist ratio that was the measure to use. You are looking for less than 1. What they (medics) are trying to establish is where you carry your fat. If it’s middle it’s worse than carrying it round your hips. The ratio gets around the height problem. As you point out to have one waist size irrespective of height is a bit irrational.

MichaelJHHeart Star in reply to stevejb1810

It was the only measurement they took. In reality one would think they should take the full set. A friend was told to lose weight when his trouser size exceed his jacket by 4". He initially ignored the advice but has now lost nearly 4 stone after a scare and being started on statins.

I saw the waist thing on a NHS website as well - I have to say if I had a 37 inch waist I'd be mortified, but even though I am well below the 37 inches, my BMI is still above 25 (albeit, only just). BTW, there are data out there that says a BMI below 26 is actually better for you in the long term than one of 25. All of these things are guides and averages and should not be taken as gospel. Whatever measurement you take, the bottom line is if you are overweight, or fat around the middle, you should lose weight.

As a slight aside, the WHO measure is the hip ratio (I was wrong about less than 1 its less than 0.9!)


marypw in reply to MichaelJH

The other easy measure is that your waist should be less than half your height. I do think waist measurement is much more obvious for women!

MichaelJHHeart Star in reply to marypw

Looks like I will have to grow a couple of inches! :)

Concerned in reply to MichaelJH

Yes, it's based on averages as per usual.

Even half your height is too big for a waist IMHO.

Where ur trousers are at the top.

MichaelJHHeart Star in reply to gal4God

My jacket size is actually 6" - 8" more than my trouser size. A friend gained a huge amount of weight after redundancy and ended up the opposite. He had now lost 4.5 stones of the 6 he gained after being diagnosed with pre-diabetes.

Your waist is half way between the bottom of your rib cage and the top of your pelvic bone (hip); sometimes belly buttons head south so they aren't a reliable reference.

It makes me smile when you see men with a huge belly and their trousers are done up underneath the bulge. Are they kidding themselves that they are 32" waist!!!

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