A new article in Journal of Hand Therapy may draw the attention of fathers and sons alike, stating some of the differences between the two men generations. Here you may find the answers why older men’s handshake is so strong and how come youngsters are much weaker than their fathers used to be when they were the same age.
The study intended to measure the grip strength and the pinch strength, and the main subjects were male students at the universities of North Carolina. The students were in their 20s or 30s, and their results were compared to those obtained 30 years ago on similar tests.
Force was measured in pounds. Nowadays young men have achieved a score of 98 pounds of force when griping something with their hands, which is 19 pounds less than men in 1985 would do. Back then, the result was 117 pounds of force.
If we look at things from another perspective, the men chosen for the study in 1985 weren’t representative of the population, as well as the students in North Carolina are not representative of nowadays population either. Besides, people in 1985 were not as delicate as present day students, by nature of their job, habits and way of life. The fact that the results of this kind of tests change over time is also part of the natural course of events, as society develops, affecting people’s lifestyle and their health, one way or another.
Enlarging upon the subject, a similar study showed in 2013 that children were not as physically fit as children in the 1980s used to be. This is, again, a consequence of how people adapt to the society they live in, and to its requirements.
On the other hand, women have been constant throughout the years, as the force grip is the same with them today, as it had been in 1985 (75 pounds). There is a surprise, though, namely that women past their thirties have a greater force of their hands and arms than before: nowadays they score 98 pounds of force, which is 19 pounds more than the results in 1985.
The results of the study should not be a reason for concern for neither fathers and sons, nor for mothers and daughters. The modern society provides us with different means and tools of making our life easier, so physical force is not required in everyday life activities as much as in the 1980s, for instance. So what we’re doing is just keeping up with our times.
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