Have a Strong Handshake? You May Live Longer

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Scientists at University College London indicate that if you have a firm grip you are destined for a long life.

The study carried out by the Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at the Medical Research Council (MCR), claim that the strength of your handshake and your ability to balance on one leg can denote life expectancy.

The aim of the research was to establish whether these simple physical factors could be used to identify older people living in their homes who might need more assistance. The team reviewed 57 similar research projects, involving tens of thousands of people, and recorded a particularly ominous pattern associated with grip strength, measured by squeezing a handle as hard as possible. The team found that of the subjects, all aged under 60, there was a link between weaker performance in the tests and earlier death. A similar pattern was found in the other measures, with the slowest walkers almost three times more likely to die compared with the fastest.

Researchers at MCR accept that there may be a number of explanations for the preliminary findings because the studies did not record and adjust for the socioeconomic circumstance and physical activity levels of the participants. However, the MCR team is planning plan to continue its research on younger people in order to investigate whether it is possible to detect those who may be susceptible to an earlier death. (via Guardian)

-Claire McCormack