Age-related and sex-related differences in hand and pinch grip strength in adults

Int J Rehabil Res. 2010 Mar;33(1):4-11. doi: 10.1097/MRR.0b013e328325a8ba.


The purpose of the study was to quantify age-related changes in hand grip strength and three types of pinch grip strength (key pinch, tip pinch, and palmar pinch) among male and female participants. The study included 199 healthy participants (100 females, 99 males) aged 20-79 years, who were divided into four age groups. The Baseline Hydraulic Hand Dynamometer and Baseline Hydraulic Pinch Gauge were used according to the standard procedures. For both the dominant and the nondominant hands, statistically significant differences between males and females, and between the age groups, were found using the analysis of variance. Mean hand and pinch grip strength were generally higher for the dominant hand and in males. The highest values of hand and pinch grip strength were found for males in the age group 35-49 years, and for females in age groups 20-34 and 35-49 years. Regardless of sex, the age group 65-79 years obtained the lowest values for all strength measures. The post-hoc tests showed significant differences between this and the other age groups in the majority of measures. Fewer differences were found between the younger groups. All strength measures correlated negatively with age (r = -0.29 to -0.41; P<0.01). In conclusion, these results show age-related changes in hand and pinch grip strength of the dominant and nondominant hands among male and female participants. Normative values according to the age groups are presented.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors*
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength Dynamometer
  • Pinch Strength / physiology*
  • Sex Factors*
  • Slovenia