Grip force and pinch grip in an adult population: reference values and factors associated with grip force

Scand J Occup Ther. 2012 May;19(3):288-96. doi: 10.3109/11038128.2011.553687. Epub 2011 Feb 28.


Objectives: To establish reference values of grip force and pinch grip in 10-year age-spans of an adult population, and to explore personal and activity factors associated with grip force.

Methods: The study has a cross-sectional design. A total of 566 participants, aged 20-94 years, were recruited from a variety of settings. Grip force and pinch grip in Newtons (N) were measured with the electronic instrument Grippit, while demographic data were obtained by a questionnaire.

Results: In general, males are stronger than females in all age groups, and females in their thirties are equally strong as males in their seventies. In both genders, grip force reaches its maximum in the third decade of life and decreases from the age of 40. Gender is the most important predictor of grip force, with a difference of 216 N (B = 216, p < 0.001) in force between females and males. In the gender-specific regression analyses, age, height, and exercise came out as independent significant predictors of grip force in both females and males.

Conclusions: Grip force increases from the age of 20 and curves at the age of 40. Males are stronger than females in all age groups. Grip force is strongly associated with gender, age, height, and regular exercising.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hand / physiology*
  • Hand Strength*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Therapy / methods*
  • Pinch Strength*
  • Reference Values
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult