Researchers at Baylor University has found that measuring your child’s hand grip can identify lifestyle changes that need to be made in order to help prevent cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
A study conducted over two years on 368 elementary school children found that 27.9 percent of the boys and 201 percent of the girls were classified as weak and at a higher risk of maintaining poor health as opposed to those who were strong.
“This study gives multiple snapshots over time that provide more insight about grip strength and future risks for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Paul M. Gordon, chair of health, human performance and recreation in Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences.
“Low grip strength could be used to predict cardiometabolic risk and to identify adolescents who would benefit from lifestyle changes to improve muscular fitness.”
While following a well-balanced diet and sufficient aerobic activity is necessary to maintain your health, this study suggests that more emphasis needs to placed on improving muscular strength from a young age.
Researchers screened and analyzed other metabolic risk factors including physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, blood pressure, family history, fasting blood lips and glucose levels.
“Even after taking into account other factors like cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity and lean body mass, we continue to see an independent association between grip strength and both cardiometabolic health maintenance and health improvements,” Gordon said.
The study further found that a strong grip strength made stronger won’t have drastic changes in the adolescent’s health, but a weak grip is considered to put them at risk.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, an estimated 17.2 percent of children and adolescents in the U.S. from ages 2 to 19 are obese, while 16.2 percent are overweight. Excess weight increases the risk of diabetes and premature heart disease.
The World Health Organization recommends that the youth perform at least 60 minutes of moderate to strenuous physical exercise daily, and yet less than a quarter of U.S. children do so according to a report by the nonprofit National Physical Activity Plan Alliance.
Grip strength of children gives clues about their future health. (2018, August 13). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180813082800.htm
B. (n.d.). Grip strength of children gives clues about their future health. Retrieved from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-08/bu-gso080818.php