Reference values for extremity muscle strength obtained by hand-held dynamometry from adults aged 20 to 79 years

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1997 Jan;78(1):26-32. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(97)90005-8.


Objective and design: Only a few studies have provided reference values for muscle strength obtained by hand-held dynamometry. Such values are essential for establishing the degree to which an individual's strength is impaired. This descriptive study was conducted to provide reference values for the strength of 10 extremity muscle actions. SUBJECTS AND INSTRUMENTATION: A convenience sample of 106 men and 125 women volunteers was tested twice with an Ametek digital hand-held dynamometer.

Results: The measurements were found to be reliable. Predictive equations are provided for the measurements. Reference values generated are expressed in Newtons and as a percentage of body weight and are organized by gender, decade of age, and side.

Conclusions: The values can be employed in a clinical setting to document whether an individual is impaired relative to healthy subjects of the same gender and age.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sex Factors