Maximum waist measurement?


I am midway through recruitment, pending medical review. The doctor has told me the maximum waist measurement for female candidates is 80 cm, and as I currently measure around 87, he has advised there is no point returning for medical review until I hit this target.

According to my first medical, my BMI wasn't an issue (although it's probably the higher end of things) and I am fit enough to do the PJFT - apparently it's just my waist measurement holding me back now. I have been loosing weight, slowly - its just not coming off my waist!! I've spoken to so many people about this (matelots and civvies) and no-one has any idea why this one particular measurement is so significant? Surely it's more important to be healthy for your body shape than to loose too much weight all over so that one measurement ticks a box.

Anyway, if it's a hoop I have to jump through so be it - just wondering if anyone could shed any light on here?
It is, it comes to a BMI of just under 28, which is higher than desirable.

Rum Ration has a resident RN Doctor who will, I hope, be doing his rounds at some point. He will have some good advice for you, I'm sure.
Thanks, that would be good - as I said, although I'm aware it's the higher end of things, I was advised that my BMI wasn't the problem, just round my waist. But perhaps the doctor just wasn't being as clear as he could have been...


Lantern Swinger
If your BMI is above 25 then the measurement (more of midriff than waist) is taken as it is an approximation of whether the excess weight is more loseable fat or more musculature. It is a solution to the old rugby player dilemma.

It is a relatively new rule and the RN don't seem to advertise it online yet, although the RAF have it on their site. So in short if the circumference isn't coming down your best bet is to get your BMI down to <25. Though if you lose that you will probably find your measurement has dropped down as well.


The "old rugby player dilemma" doesn't need a solution - see BMI threads passim.

I have to say I was unaware of a maximum waist circumference but it is important to aim for a BMI <25.
"Anyway, if it's a hoop I have to jump through so be it - just wondering if anyone could shed any light on here?".................. Do they make hoops that big?
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I just got out my trusty B&Q tapemeasure ('cos it's got Metric and Imperial see!) so as I could find out what 87 is. Bleedin hell scuba-do, that is almost the same as me (I'm a 36 which is 91) But I'm a bloke! But having lived with dieting females all my life - no jokes about submariners here! - I do feel your pain.

This raises a couple of points - it is too large for your height, whether a pear or an apple!
The other is, as your name is scuba-doo, I'm guessing that you are a diver, as am I. Now assuming you enjoy that pastime, just think how much lead you could ditch to get down and how much easier it would be to walk up the beach or get back into the boat after a dive. Ever had the 'beached whale' comment.................?

As always - eat less and exercise more. Simples. There is NO other way.

Good luck!
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Thank you for the input all, (well most of it... ;) ) I guess it does make sense that for a higher BMI they would be more picky about how big your waist is. I know I've got to meet the target, it's just easier to get motivated when you understand why.

I've never been a string bean, and wouldn't want to be, but I'm not at all going to accept the beached whale comment ;) I'll have you know I worked three seasons as a Divemaster running backwards and forwards in kit and getting in and out of boats all day long!! Fitness and waist measurement are not always so closely correlated...

But thanks again for the wisdom, just got to keep at it :)

Have you thought of signing up for WeightWatchers for a couple of months? It shouldn't take you too long to trim down from BMI 28 to BMI 25. You would get weighed each week and would see your weight dropping bit by bit until you reached a BMI of under 25. It worked very well for me personally.
I just failed my medical. Two things were mentioned one I need to do a peek flow chart for a month and secondly my bmi was a bit high 6ft 2" 15stones. rebooked for 3 months but I may try and push it forward as it isnt going to take me 3 months to lose a stone and a half!
Sorry for replying to such an old thread, I'm currently in a similar position to scuba-doo as I have a BMI that's too high for the requirements (27). Being completely honest, I'm not big-boned (if there is such a thing), it's not "all muscle", and I'm not a rugby player. I'm a small 5"0 female that's a bit fatter than I should be. The question I have is with the 80cm measurement, it wasn't a measurement of the waist, but the top of the hips area.

I went home and had all the family finding it hilarious, and for a laugh measured their waists to make sure they weren't too fat before they started cracking jokes. The only female that made that requirement was my 12 year old sister. My mum is underweight and still didn't make that. I have to ask, do they make any distinctions between males and females when coming up with this measurement? As obviously men are narrower at the hips than women.

It makes very little difference as I'm still too fat and need to lose weight, and use the time to improve my fitness, I was just curious and wondering if anyone else had the same problem.


War Hero
Forget waist measurements, just get your BMI within the healthy zone.

It matters not whether anyone agrees with the BMI method of assessment, it`s the standard applied and isn`t up for negotiation unfortunately. The reason is based on many years of statistical data which supports the medical standard for entry into initial training which, in itself, requires good cardio vascular fitness above the ability to lift or carry heavy weights.
With a 40" waist. Thank god they wont take me, so "her indoors will have to put up with me for the forseeable future" well as long as my state pension keeps coming.
LMFAO, love to see an average BMI measurement of Jack and Jenny's messdeck across a warship, say a T45, I put my mortgage on it that it will be 29/30. Now graduate that to the SNCO mess and you'd be lucky to get below 31. But I bet the majority of them will pass their RNFT, this BMI shit and now waist measurement is just a recruitment filter, Raleigh and new entry itself will get you below the required. I did 14 weeks at Raleigh/Fisgard sqdn, joined up with some right chubby gits, weren't chubby when they passed out, therefore give yourself a 14 week plan, layoff the booze and you're in.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Good tip: When they measure your height, straighten your back so you appear taller than you actually are - that'll help the
formula... :thumbleft:
Perhaps it has something to do with being able to pass through a kidney hatch. If that's the case I will be ahead of Scuba-Doo when the time comes.

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