Gender differences in hand stability of normal young people assessed at low force levels

Ergonomics. 2011 Mar;54(3):273-81. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2010.547607.


To examine gender differences in hand stability, finger position and force holding tasks at low force levels were conducted with 30 male and 30 female young adults. Total fluctuation was defined as the standard deviation of measured data and fluctuation and the 10-Hz component of the physiological tremor were compared between maleand female subjects. In all tasks, the total fluctuation and the 10-Hz tremor were significantly larger in male subjects than females. On average, the fluctuation was 1.3 times larger and the 10-Hz tremor was 1.6 times larger. The results of this study suggest that women have superior hand stability compared with men at low force levels. Finger length, maximal voluntary contraction and surface electromyography were also measured and factors related to gender differences in hand stability are discussed. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: Hand stability is crucial for precise manual operations. This study demonstrated gender differences in hand steadiness at low force levels. Though hand dexterity cannot be explained only by hand stability, the results of this study are useful not only for occupational aptitude tests but also for neuropsychological tests.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Hand / physiology*
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Tremor / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult