You want your kid to grow up to have strong hands for a lot of reasons beyond catching Nerf balls like Odell Beckham, Jr. Research shows grip strength is a predictor of mortality, general health, and your carpet not being the victim of sippy cup spills. Sadly, a new study published in the Journal of Hand Therapy (how is this a scholarly publication and not a punchline?) suggests Junior’s hands may never catch up to yours. And grandpa? Your paws can’t touch his.
Researchers measured at the grip strength and pinch strength of 237 students ages 20 to 34 and compared it to data from the same age bracket in 1985. They found that the average man today was only able to apply 98 pounds of force when gripping an object in their right hand, compared to 117 pounds in 1985. These results echo past studies that show kids are not as fit as they were 30 years ago. It could also be due to the reduction of manual labor jobs over time. Another possible variable is that the sample was not necessarily representative of men as a whole, and full-time college students these days are just soft. (Though they should have plenty of time to practice “grip strength.”)
The good news for dudes with daughters is that grip strength among women in the study increased over time. While they were only able to apply about 79 pounds of force in 1985, today they match men at 98 pounds. That means girls have closed about a 31 pound gender grip gap … and yours might be ready for the Thumb Wrestling Federation before you think.
[H/T] The Washington Post
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