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Is a 29 inch waist small for women and men?

Learn what a 29 inch waist looks like on both women and men.
Written By  Brianna Martin
Last Updated on 9th March 2022
A woman with a slim 29 inch waist

A 29 inch waist is a healthy waist size for women and men because it puts you in the low-risk category for conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

However, depending on your height, hips, and body composition, a 29″ waist can look significantly bigger or smaller than it actually is. So with that in mind, this guide explains just how big and how small a 29 inch waistline is for men and women.

How Does Your Waist Compare?

Is a 29 inch waist big for a woman?

A woman showing that her 29 inch waist isn't big

Is a 29 inch waist big for a woman or not? No, a 29 inch waist is not big for a woman. In fact, in many cases, the opposite is true; a 29 in waist is pretty small for a female and is an indication that your body is in good health.

A waist size below 31.5 inches (or less than half your height) is generally considered healthy for a woman. [1] So unless you're well under 5 feet tall, your 29 inch waist definitely shouldn't cause you any health problems.

Just how small is a 29 inch waist for a woman? When you look at the statistics, you're forced to conclude that a 29 inch waistline is much smaller than average for a woman—10 inches slimmer, to be precise. This is because the average woman has a rather huge 39 inch waistline!

Is a 29 inch waist small for a man?

A man showing his small 29 inch waist and skinny body

Is a 29 inch waist small for a man? Yes, a 29 inch waist is definitely small for a man, especially considering that the average guy has a waist that's 11 inches bigger. If you have a 29″ waist, then you'll naturally be a size small in most brands of shorts and pants.

If you have a 29 inch waist as a man, then it might be because you have a slimmer than average build.

However, it could also be because you have a low body fat level (or a combination of both). Since males tend to store a majority of their fat on their stomachs, it's possible to shed inches off your waist when you lose weight, which could cause your waist size to drop to 29 inches.

To put things into perspective and convey just how small a 29 in waist size is for a man, 29 inches is a normal waist size for an 11-12-year-old child!

What does a 29 inch waist look like?

A woman demonstrating what a 29 inch waist looks like

What does a 29 inch waist look like? It depends on your gender, height, and body composition. A 29 inch waist will look slimmer on a man than on a woman because women have smaller builds and narrower rib cages than men. Thus, if a male and a female both have the same waist size, then a higher proportion of the woman's waist will—quite naturally—consist of fat as opposed to bone mass and muscle mass.

A 29 inch stomach will also look smaller on a longer torso than on a shorter torso. The simple reason for this is that it represents a smaller percentage of the total surface area on a long torso.

Or to say it another way, when you're tall and you have a long torso, your body mass is stretched out over a larger surface area, which generally makes your circumference measurements look slimmer.

Similarly, if you have a 29″ waist that consists of mainly muscle mass (well-developed abs and obliques), then your stomach will look smaller than the belly of someone who has a layer or two of fat over their abs, even if it's actually the same size.

How big is a 29.5 inch waist?

A woman with a 29.5 inch waist

A 29.5 inch waist is pretty small for women and very small for men. This is especially true if your 29.5 inch waist is less than half of your height in inches, which is almost certainly the case if you're over 5 feet.

If you have a 29.5 inch waist as a man, then you might be on the cusp of clothing sizes. In this case, it's best to try both small and medium pants so that you can see which size fits you best.

Still, for an adult (and some older teenagers) of just about any height and build, a 29.5 inch waist is definitely on the slim side and shouldn't be a point of concern considering that it's not going to put your health at risk.

Which celebrities have a 29 inch waist?

A woman working her 29 in waist at the gym

A quick internet search for "29 inch waist celebrities" will bring up an extensive list of celebs that supposedly have a 29 inch waistline.

Unfortunately, many of these celebrity measurement sites are inaccurate because the results are autogenerated. In other words, someone has just outright guessed the waist measurements of a whole bunch of celebrities.

Also, many celebrities don't disclose their waist measurements unless it's really small. For this reason, we don't know the vast majority of the celebrity waist sizes.

The reality is that there are countless female (and a few male) celebrities with a 29 inch waist. But when these people hear that other celebs (apparently) have a much smaller waist than them, they don't want to say that they have a 29 inch waist because the public might think that they're fat when they're obviously not.

What's a good hip size for a 29 inch waist?

A woman showing that her 29 inch waist is small

Your waist-to-hip ratio predicts how healthy you are and how attractive you look. Indeed, research shows that your waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is a better predictor of cardiovascular disease risk than BMI. [2]

With this in mind, we took a couple of waist and hip proportions and calculated the WHR so that you can see how your body compares. As a woman, you should aim to keep your WHR below 0.8 if you want to remain in optimal health.

29 inch waist 40 inch hips

If you have 40 inch hips and a 29 inch waist, then you have a 0.73 WHR and a very attractive figure. While you can obviously look great while having a higher WHR, some research does show that people prefer a slimmer WHR. [3]

To calculate your own WHR, simply divide your waist size by your hip size.

29 inch waist 39 inch hips

Having a 29 inch waist and 39 inch hips gives you a 0.74 WHR and likely a very curvy figure. This female ratio is well below the 0.8 cut-off point and is a strong indicator that your body is in good health.

These examples are for women since men typically don't care as much about their WHR. Still, men should aim to keep their WHR below 0.95 to maintain good health.

Conclusion: Is a 29 inch waist small or not?

A woman showing that she doesn't have much fat on her 29 inch waist

One thing's for sure; A 29 inch waist is definitely not fat. Indeed, in the majority of cases, a 29 inch waistline is small and slim. The only exception to this is if 29 inches when doubled exceeds your height in inches (pretty unlikely for most people).

Of course, your body composition can also influence how big and small your 29″ waist looks.

Having a flat stomach and toned abs, for example, will make your waist appear slimmer. This isn't to say, of course, that your waist will look fat if it has some fat around it. Indeed, most people don't have toned abs, so you shouldn't feel that you need to get into fitness model shape to look great, especially considering that 29 inches is already a small waist size.

References

  1. Ashwell, M., & Gibson, S. (2014). A proposal for a primary screening tool: `Keep your waist circumference to less than half your height’. BMC Medicine, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-014-0207-1
  2. Czernichow, S., Kengne, A. P., Huxley, R. R., Batty, G. D., de Galan, B., Grobbee, D., Pillai, A., Zoungas, S., Marre, M., Woodward, M., Neal, B., & Chalmers, J. (2011). Comparison of waist-to-hip ratio and other obesity indices as predictors of cardiovascular disease risk in people with type-2 diabetes: a prospective cohort study from ADVANCE. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, 18(2), 312–319. https://doi.org/10.1097/hjr.0b013e32833c1aa3
  3. Kościński, K. (2013). Assessment of Waist-to-Hip Ratio Attractiveness in Women: An Anthropometric Analysis of Digital Silhouettes. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43(5), 989–997. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-013-0166-1
Brianna Martin
Brianna Martin has worked in health and wellness media for more than 8 years. She uses her organisational skills and passion for fitness to organise our team of content creators. As a former track and field athlete, Bri still hits the gym hard 5 times a week to maintain her flexibility and athleticism.
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