FAQ075: Why is grip strength so important?

As we get older, we know that we lose muscle strength, grip strength included!

Grip strength refers to the strength of the muscles in the forearms and hands to carry out day-to-day activities. Some of these activities include unscrewing a stubborn jar or carrying in groceries. It’s the running joke at STAVE OFF that we are trying to get you to carry all your groceries in with one trip.

But grip strength has other important benefits too.

I come from the research space. In research, grip strength is used as an indirect measure of overall body strength. What that means is that we see that people with low grip strength tend to be weaker. Low muscle strength has been linked to a bunch of adverse outcomes. Some of these outcomes include risk of going into hospital and heart disease.

This doesn’t mean that if you train your grip you’re less likely to have a heart attack.

This is something often misunderstood when talking about your grip. The reason why this relationship exists is because of grip strength is an indicator for body strength. Staying strong as you get older is super important. We have talked on previous videos about the loss of strength with age. We’ve also done a blog on normal aging and if becoming weaker is “normal“.

In this video, we break down this distinction. We start to talk about why a physiotherapist might ask you or test your grip. It is an overall health indicator. This may be effected by pain as well if you are a person with arthritis or other injuries in your hands. But that is for another video.

Check out the video and let us know what you think!

All caught up on the FAQ videos?

How about checking out some of our first ones? Like what to do for exercise if you have severe arthritis in your knees. 

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Christina Prevett

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