Grip strength is strongly associated with height, weight and gender in childhood: a cross sectional study of 2241 children and adolescents providing reference values

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Question: What are reference values for grip strength in children and adolescents based on a large and heterogeneous study population? What is the association of grip strength with age, gender, weight, and height in this population? Design: Cross-sectional study. Participants: Participants were recruited from schools in the northern provinces of the Netherlands. The study included healthy children and adolescents ranging in age from 4 to 15 years. Outcome measures: All children had their height (cm) and weight (kg) measured and were allowed a total of four attempts using the Jamar hand dynamometer: twice with each hand. Grip strength scores (kg) were recorded for the dominant and non-dominant hands. Results: The study population comprised 2241 children and adolescents. Reference values for both genders are provided according to age and dominance. Grip strength shows a linear and parallel progression for both genders until the age of 11 or 12, after which grip strength development shows an acceleration that is more prominent in boys. Conclusion: There is a significant difference in grip strength with each ascending year of age in favour of the older group, as well as a trend for boys to be stronger than girls in all age groups between 4 and 15 years. Weight and especially height have a strong association with grip strength in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-261
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physiotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2013


  • Grip strength
  • Children
  • Jamar hand dynamometer
  • Reference values
  • Physiotherapy
  • HAND
  • 19-YEAR-OLDS

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