New research published in the Journal of Hand Therapy (your favorite monthly read) reveals that, according to a small sample, men today have weaker hands than their fathers did 30 years ago.
The Washington Post reports:
Researchers measured the grip strength (how strongly you can squeeze something) and pinch strength (how strongly you can pinch something between two fingers) of 237 healthy full-time students aged 20 to 34 at universities in North Carolina. And especially among males, the reduction in strength compared to 30 years ago was striking.
The average 20-to-34-year-old today, for instance, was able to apply 98 pounds of force when gripping something with his right hand. In 1985, the average man could squeeze with 117 pounds of force.
Neither the 1985 nor current study, as WaPo’s Christopher Ingraham points out, are representative of the entire U.S. population because both have primarily focused on college students. (Looking at, say, auto mechanics might tell a very different story.) They do, however, reflect greater changes in the U.S. labor market—with less men doing manual labor and more men working desk jobs.
According to the study, women’s grip and pinch strength has remained relatively the same over the past 30 years and now, in 2016, our hand strength is about on par with our millennial male counterparts.
If you identify as female and have been waiting for the chance to compete and win in a squeeze/grip off with an under 40 man in your life, now is the time to throw down the 98-pound gauntlet.