Validation of handgrip strength and endurance as a measure of physical function and quality of life in healthy subjects and patients

Nutrition. 2010 May;26(5):542-50. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2009.06.015. Epub 2009 Oct 4.


Objective: Handgrip strength (HGS) is often used as a bedside measurement of muscle function in the hospital setting. The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which HGS, endurance, and work (force during endurance x time) are related to physical function as measured by mobility and physical activity (PA) in young, healthy volunteers. Further, the relations between HGS, mobility, PA and quality of life (QoL) in patients were investigated.

Methods: Ninety-two healthy subjects (45% men, mean age 30 y) and 45 patients (56% men, mean age 55 y) were assessed for HGS, handgrip endurance, and handgrip work, mobility (timed up-and-go test), and PA (Baecke questionnaire or Bouchard activity diary). The patients were further assessed for QoL (SF-36).

Results: There was a correlation between HGS and mobility in healthy subjects (r=-0.31, P=0.0028) and patients (r=-0.59, P<0.0001). Further, HGS and mobility were related to physical and mental component summary scores of QoL in patients. There was also a relation between HGS and PA in healthy female subjects and male patients.

Conclusion: Handgrip strength is a valid measurement of mobility and QoL in patients and of PA in healthy female subjects and male patients. Handgrip endurance and work were not found to be valid measurements of mobility and PA in healthy subjects or of QoL in patients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Quality of Life*