Grip strength: the health marker you need to know for Longevity

Today, Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwick, PymbleBalmain, Neutral Bay and Coburg, Melbourne, discuss the importance of Grip strength as an indicator of health.

 

When you go to see your GP for a health check up you will be aware of your traditional health tests – blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and body composition. These all have good correlations to health risks and death, however you may not be aware how well your grip strength can predict your health risks, even how long you live!

An article published in 2019 (1) summarised the main findings between grip strength and health markers:

  • Lower group strength was correlated with slower walking speed
  • Higher grip strength was associated with higher bone density
  • Lower grip strength was related to higher blood glucose levels
  • As grip strength went down, the rates of illnesses rose in adults (eg diabetes and chronic conditions)
  • Mental Health – lower grip strength was associated with more mental health issues including depression, poor cognition and poor sleep
  • 3 very large studies (meta analysis) have found early rates of death from all conditions with lower grip strength, concluding it as a very strong predictor!
  • One of the most important results found was that grip strength was a better predictor of death from cardiovascular disease than systolic blood pressure!

 

So what can we take from this.

 

Strength is key, not only grip strength or upper body strength but also lower body strength too, as a number of studies have found. We need to all be doing strength training at least twice, ideally three times a week in addition to our cardiovascular exercise.

Should we also be testing grip strength in the medical setting too, for example when you see your GP as it is such a strong predictor? Let us know your thoughts!

 

If you or someone you know is interested in assessing your grip strength or want to work on your strength, Longevity Exercise Physiologists are here to help. Call Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwick, PymbleBalmain, Neutral Bay and Coburg, Melbourne, on 1300 964 002 to enquire today!

 

Written by Luke Dorizas

References:

(1) Bohannon RW. Grip Strength: An Indispensable Biomarker For Older Adults. Clin Interv Aging. 2019

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