Aims: To establish normal reference values for handgrip strength in healthy adult subjects using hand dynamometry.
Subjects and methods: Descriptive study of 517 healthy volunteers (267 females and 229 males) aged 17-97 years. Grip strength was measured using two different handgrip dynamometers. Three consecutive measurements were made in both the dominant and the non-dominant hands. The results were analysed after stratification by age, gender, weight, height and dominant/non-dominant hand.
Results: The handgrip strength depends on gender (non-dominant hand: 22.8 +/-7.2 kg in females and 35.1 +/- 12.4 kg in males (mean +/- standard deviation); "t" test P<0.0001) and is negatively correlated with, age (females r = -0.60, males r = -0.67, P<0.01) and positively with height (females r = -0.48, P<0.01, males r = -0.60, P<0.01).
Conclusions: Normal reference values for handgrip strength should be established and stratified according to age and gender. The variations associated with height do not warrant adjustments in relation to this variable.