The study also found that accumulating more fat on your hips lowered your risk of death. Each 4-inch increase around your hips meant a 10% lower risk of death, and this was significant for women.
However, you should also consider your waist measurement, because the fat around your waist — called “visceral fat” — can be dangerous to your health. For every 4-inch increase in the circumference around your waist, you’re increasing your risk of death from any cause by 11%. According to Harvard Medical School, your waist circumference shouldn’t exceed 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women.
The ratio of your waist size to your hip size or height is also important. If these ratios increase, the risk of early death goes up. For example, a 10% increase in waist-to-hip ratio increases the risk by 20%, and that same increase in waist-to-height ratio increases the risk by 24%. According to Harvard Medical School, men’s waist-to-hip ratio should be no more than 0.95, and 0.85 is the upper limit for women.