Correlation between handgrip strength and hand-forearm anthropometry
Omar Andrés Fuentes-Manrique1*,
Juan Dayal Castro-Bermúdez2 ,
Diego Fernando Villegas-Bermúdez3 .
The Pearson correlation coeffi cient (r) between the grip strength and hand-forearm anthropometry was found to determine either
existing or not a linear relation among them. Collecting data of the variables was obtained from ten young adults in both, right and
left hand-forearm, it was taken into account some qualitative variables: to be right-handed, the gender with fi ve (5) men and fi ve (5)
women, and it was established as a condition that the individual was healthy and did not have a previous career as an athlete. A direct
linear relationship with hand anthropometry and the grip strength is concluded, even though as expected, there was a strong difference
between the force exerted by a male and a female individual, being the fi rst stronger. Respect to the forearm, an inverse relation was
found between the maximum circumference of the forearm and the grip strength. Finally, the strongest relationships found were in the
width and length of the palm, as well as in the circumference of the wrist. Results were validated comparing the results of this research
against the results of specialized literature. Some considerations may be considered for future research. Grip strength can promote the
risk of accidents and ergonomists should consider this factor appropriately for their design.
El coefi ciente de correlación de Pearson (r) entre la fuerza de agarre y la antropometría del antebrazo manual supone una relación
existente o no lineal entre ellos. La recopilación de datos de las variables se obtuvo de diez adultos jóvenes, tanto en el antebrazo
derecho como en el izquierdo, se tuvieron en cuenta algunas variables cualitativas: ser diestro, el género con cinco (5) hombres y cinco
(5) mujeres, y se establecieron como condiciones que el individuo estaba sano y no tenía una carrera previa como atleta. Se concluye
una relación lineal directa con la antropometría de la mano y la fuerza de agarre, aunque como se esperaba, existía una gran diferencia
entre la fuerza ejercida por un individuo masculino y femenino, siendo la primera más fuerte. Respecto al antebrazo, se encontró una
relación inversa entre la circunferencia máxima del antebrazo y la fuerza de agarre. Finalmente, las relaciones más fuertes encontradas
fueron en el ancho y largo de la palma, así como en la circunferencia de la muñeca. Los resultados se validaron comparando los
resultados de esta investigación con los resultados de literaturas especializadas. Algunas consideraciones pueden ser consideradas para
futuras investigaciones. La fuerza de agarre puede promover el riesgo de accidentes y los ergónomos deben considerar este factor de
manera adecuada para su diseño.
Palabras clave: Antropometría,
Fuerza de agarre,
One of the most signifi cant developments during the long
period of early human evolution was man’s achievement of
upright posture since hands become available for activities
other than locomotion. The tremendous value of the human
hand as a functional part for grasping, manipulating, writing, as
well as other activities, need not be emphasized . Therefore,
dimensions or sizes of the human hand are important for two
primary reasons: protection and function. Thus, dimensional
information on the hands is required for the effective design
of handles of tools or implements to be grasped with the hands
such as cutting tools , as well as handwear.
Anthropometry of the hand plays an essential role in different
fi elds, like aeronautics  medicine or criminology where
hand anthropometry is used to determine the sex of a deceased
person. Determination of sex is often considered as one of the
simplest tasks in forensic analysis but become increasingly
important in cases of mass disasters, where there is a likelihood
of recovering feet and hands separated from the body .
Materials and methods
Despite the application of high technology at work, there are still
physically demanding occupations in fi elds such as automotive
industries, manual material handling jobs, postal, emergency
and military services . Hand-grip strength is identifi ed as
one limiting factor for manual lifting and carrying loads ,
, . Manual lifting and carrying of loads are common types
of exercise in everyday life at home and work. Studies of grip
strength typically examine maximum force during a single
repetition, but this type of exertion is relatively rare in the
workplace, where tasks frequently involve repeated forceful,
and dynamic grasping or prolonged static holding . This
study is of high relevance to industry: Grip strength and relative
endurance may both contribute to the risk of work-related
accidents and cumulative musculoskeletal injury. Because
grip force and endurance are unrelated, ergonomists should
consider which factor is most important and appropriate for
their design and research goals. Measurements of the forearm
and hand were found to be better predictors of grip strength
than were height and weight  so that anthropometry of handforearm.
The ability to predict strength was most accurate for
the single-repetition and then declined with increasing duration
of the experiment . This research study the hand-forearm
anthropometry and the grip strength trying to fi nd a correlation
coeffi cient to attribute a linear relation as expected.
Selection of participants 10 no-athletes young adults between
20 and 25 years old were selected for this study. This study
included participants being right-handed, the gender selected
with fi ve (5) men and fi ve (5) women. Also, it was established
as a condition that the individuals were healthy at the time of
collecting data and there were no previous musculoskeletal
disorders. The participants were informed previously about
the study and they were willing to participate according to
an informed consent (Nijhawan et al.). . For an optimal
data collection, the procedure to be followed was carefully
explained to the participants. (Fig 1).
Flexures (joint lines) are the major markings found in hand
commonly crease the skin across the fl exor surfaces of the
wrist, palm, and digits and are the sites of folding of the
skin during movement. These fl exures are useful landmarks
for measurements from the hand . Hand length - distance
from the Interstylion (middle point of the line connecting the
Stylion Radiale and the Stylion Ulnare) to the Dactylion (tip
of the middle fi nger). The hand width - the distance between
Metacarpal Radiale and the Metacarpal Ulnare. Palm length
- the distance between the mid-point of the distal transverse
crease of the wrist and the most proximal fl exion crease of
the middle fi nger. Finger lengths are measured as the distance
between proximal fl exion creases of the fi nger and the tip of that
fi nger. Three other measurements were taken on each person’s
forearms. Forearm length was measured as the distance from
the tip of the olecranon process to the styloid process of the
ulna (Fig. 3). Forearm circumference was taken 5 cm from
elbow crease, and circumference of the wrist was taken at the
wrist fold, just distal to the ulnar styloid process . These
measures were taken with a Vernier caliper.
Handgrip test For measuring grip strength, a Jamar hand
dynamometer was used, the Jamar is small and portable but
relatively heavy (1.5 lb) hydraulic dynamometer. The dial
reads force in both kilograms and pounds, with markings at
intervals of 2 kg or 5 lb and can determine a maximum force
of 90 Kg, has fi ve adjustable positions, as well as, it is the most
widely cited in the literature and accepted as the gold standard
by which other dynamometers are evaluated and it has the
highest accuracy of the instruments tested in . It requires
3–4 pounds of force to make the indicator needle move, which
may be inappropriate when measuring grip strength in very
weak patients and the reading error is reported to be greater
at lower loadings. The calibration accuracy should be checked
on new machines, and the manufacturers recommend annual
or more frequent calibration if used on a daily basis . At
the time of measuring the grip strength, people had to have
the hands dry and clean, since these physical conditions could
affect the strength of grip, and they had to form a 90-degree
angle between the arm and forearm. Data were taken from both
Results and Discussion
After ordering the data collected between anthropometry of
the hand and arm together with the forces, a total of 240 data
were obtained. For the data analysis, descriptive statistics are
used, through which averages and deviations were calculated
to fi nally proceed to fi nd a Pearson correlation coeffi cient to
know if there is a relationship between the grip strength and
the hand measurements. Likewise, the data were represented
as discrete variables, also by inferential statistics , it is
deduced that none of the individuals has exercise routines
where it strengthens the hands and the forearm. The used
formulas were: (eq 1,2,3).
Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) r is a measure of the
linear correlation between two variables X and Y that has a
value between +1 and −1, where 1 is a total positive linear
correlation, 0 is no linear correlation, and −1 is a total negative
linear correlation. It is widely used in the sciences . (tab 1).
Hand, wrist, and forearm measurements were taken to the
participants (see Table III). Regarding table IV, the average
handgrip strength measured in Jamar hand dynamometer
shows a clear difference in gender as all men have a superior
strength over women, although, measures on men have a higher
standard deviation than women. (Tab 3).
As seen in Figure 1 and table V, regarding men, it was found in
both, right and left hands similar results concerning hierarchy
(weak) in the thumb and the middle fi nger. Likewise, all the
fi ngers and hand have a direct relationship with grip strength
since no measurement marked a null correlation. (Fig 2).
There is a discrepancy between hands as the width of the hand,
and the length of palm has an increase in Pearson coeffi cient
(r) in the right hand disagreeing with the opposite hand in both
Regarding the length of the hand, in both genders, it is noticed
that the correlation is weak and very weak in men and women.
Although, in the right hand of women there is a signifi cant
hierarchy, differing from the left hand that is very weak.
In the analysis between genders, there are coincidences in
the hierarchy in the right hand of men and women in three
measures, the two previously mentioned and the middle fi nger,
while in the left hand there are similarities in the length and
width of the hand and the fi ngers F2 and F4.
According to the measurements on the forearm, it should
be noticed that in men there is a negative correlation in the
maximum circumference of the forearm, which tells us that
there is an inverse relationship between both measures, as
one increases another decrease, something that would make
us frown because it seems illogical. In women, a negative
relationship was also found in this measure.
Although they are not coincident, there is a correlation in the
circumference of the wrist in men with a hierarchy moderate
and signifi cant for right and left hand respectively. This
correlation is very low in women (null and weak for right and
left hand), as well as, Pearson coeffi cients are positive in the
right hand and the left negative, thus, in women, this measure
cannot be considered.
In men, there is a clear discrepancy in the length of the forearm,
because in the right hand it shows a signifi cant relationship
while on the left it is null. Between genders, a negative and
weak relation was found in the measurement of the maximum
circumference of the forearm.
It could be inferred that the way in which force is applied
varies between the hands. Because the test was applied to righthanded
individuals, there is a tendency in which the correlation
increases in the right hand in some measures.
It seems that the hierarchy of finger by finger cannot find
something completely defined, it is advisable to take other
measures in considerations such as the taken into account in
 where it is advisable to consider all the possible measures
concerning the hand in different positions.
The average maximum strength of the hand showed an expected
result, a clear difference between men and women as the force
exerted by a male is stronger than a female individual. It is
found in  that 90% of women produced less strength than
men. Even the results of female national elite athletes indicate
that the level of strength attainable by extremely high training
will rarely exceed 50% of untrained men. These results are
related to the existence of an appreciable difference due to the
difference in body mass.
The results obtained by the fingers are not the same as those
found in . Since in this investigation it was found that the
force exerted by the fingers they had the following order -
Medium, Annular, Index and Pinky. - Instead, the results were
randomized, without any clear trend.
Grip strength can contribute to the risk of work-related
accidents and musculoskeletal injuries and the risk increase as
age increase . It is recommended to study the relationship
between the risk of work-related accidents and relative
endurance. Because of ergonomists must consider which factor
is most important and appropriate for their design .
In summary, hand anthropometry has a direct linear relationship
with the grip strength since no measurement was null in the
results. As well as, the strongest relationships found were in
the width and length of the palm, and the circumference of the
Future studies have to consider all possible measures of the hand
anthropometry in all the relevant positions of the hand with the
purpose of obtaining more accurate results. It is recommended
to take into account standards to measure anthropometry  –
 and to enlarge the number of variables in different studies
like the role of muscle loss  and the effect of elbow position
. Finally, the standard deviation of average grip strength
that the Jamar hand dynamometer shows have to be considered
for the analysis of data.
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1* Ingeniero Mecánico, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia Orcid: 0000-0001-6963-2813
2 Ingeniero Mecánico, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia Orcid: 0000-0002-5127-4904
3 Doctor en Ingeniería Mecánica, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia Orcid: 0000-0002-9331-6797
Received on January 12, 2018; Approved on May 19, 2018.
How to cite :O.A. Fuentes-Manrique, J.D. Castro-Bermúdez, Diego F. Villegas, “Correlation between handgrip strength and hand-forearm anthropometry”,
Respuestas, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 6-11, 2018.
2590-9215© 2017 Universidad Francisco de Paula Santander. Este es un artículo bajo la licencia CCBY