Dr. Helen

Grip Strength Declining?

I was reading MEL magazine out of Venice, CA. and came across this article on grip strength entitled “Millennial Men Are No Longer Crushing It”:

Feel like you haven’t gotten a good handshake in years? It’s not you. Kids today can’t grip for shit. A study out of Winston-Salem State University found that men in their early 20s in 1985 could crush, on average, 121 pounds with their right hand, and 105 pounds with their left. Today? Men in that same age bracket can only squeeze out a paltry 101 with their right and 99 with their left. (For comparison’s sake, young women fell from 70 to 60 pounds.)

Declining grip strength might seem like a pretty minor problem for millennials, given the state of the world in 2016, but the researchers were interested in measuring that dramatic dip for two important reasons. First, these 1985 grip strength surveys are used as the basis for determining the severity of injuries in workers’ comp situations, and tracking patients’ recovery. If injured workers are being measured against the demigods of a golden era of grip strength, that might lead to inappropriate court findings and inappropriate medical treatment.

Second, grip strength has recently been found to function as a good stand-in for overall health. Last year, researchers found that grip strength was a better predictor of overall mortality than blood pressure, even when the cause of death was heart disease or stroke — if you can crush a handshake, it’s more likely that you can keep crushing life.

Okay, everyone, maybe we all need to get one of these.