Norms for grip strength in children aged 4-16 years

Acta Paediatr. 2002;91(6):617-25. doi: 10.1080/080352502760068990.


The aim of this study was to provide norms for grip strength in children. A total of 530 Swedish 4-16-y-olds was tested with the instrument Grippit. The instrument estimates peak grip strength over a 10s period, and sustained grip strength averaged across the 10s. The increase in grip strength with age was approximately parallel for boys and girls until 10 y of age, after which boys were significantly stronger than girls. Strong correlations existed between grip strength and the anthropometric measures weight, height and, in particular, hand length. Right-handed children were significantly stronger in their dominant hand, while left-handers did not show any strength difference between the hands. It is therefore suggested that when evaluating grip strength in left-handed children both hands should be assumed to be about equally strong, while right-handed children are expected to be up to 10% stronger with their right hand. Sustained grip strength was consistently about 80-85% of peak grip strength, with somewhat lower values in younger children. The present normative data for peak grip strength were slightly lower than 1980s' data from the USA and Australia, probably because of divergences in age grouping and in instruments used.

Conclusion: Norms for grip strength including estimates of variation were provided for children aged 4-16 y. These data will enable therapists and physicians to compare a patient's score with the scores of normally developed children according to age, gender, handedness and body measures.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Probability
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors
  • Sweden