Hand Grip Strength (HGS) is an important indicator of health that is highly representative of a person’s current and future health profile (1). Grip strength is a reflection of whole body function!
HGS is known to be linked with various psychological outcomes such as cognitive impairement, depression, depressive symptoms, and the development of depressive symptoms within a year (2).
HGS was independently associated with increased odds of diabetes, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (3). Declines in HGS were also shown to be related to coronary heart disease, other cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic bronchitis, chronic back syndrome, long-lasting cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and asthma (4).
One study demonstrated that every 5-kg decrease in HGS was associated with a 16% higher hazard ratio for all-cause mortality and 17% higher hazard ratio for cardiovascular mortality (5)!
The fact is, Strength is very important and interestingly those with lean muscles actually can be stronger than those with big bulky ones (1). The reason for this is that muscle strength is associated with the brain’s ability to contract more muscle cells or fibres; just because your muscles are big doesn’t mean you’re contracting many fibres for more strength.
Many believe substantial muscle and bone weakness is part of aging — but it’s actually part of unhealthy aging. While strength does diminish over the years, measurably starting around age 30 in men and women, it should not be too excessive to the point that we are impaired by it. Weakness in muscles and bones can also promote problems in ligaments, tendons, joints, cartilage and fascia.
Take our easy to implement test by using a grip dynamometer in our practice to easily measure Grip Strength. The more grip strength typically means that you are getting healthier and more fit. Improvements in grip strength can signify training success, as well as recovery from overtraining, injury or significant illness (6).
Blogs by the team at Sprouting Health