It’s known that as we age, we become weaker – this is known as sarcopenia. If sarcopenia worsens, it can negatively affect how we carry out everyday tasks.
A simple test doctors use to determine a person’s strength is a handgrip test, where a person holds a small device and squeezes it. That squeeze is measured to determine handgrip strength. Handgrips are a useful way to determine a person’s overall strength which is often linked to overall muscle mass and health.
Along with measuring muscle strength and determining sarcopenia, a handgrip test may also reveal other health problems too. A recent study suggests that a handgrip test may also reveal the health of the respiratory system and a weak handgrip may signal weak lungs, which can suggest a person may be at a higher risk for respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
The researchers wanted better insight into the link between handgrip and lung function. They tested older Korean women for their handgrip to see if this provided insight into their lung function.
Information was taken from the 2014–2015 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES).
Of the 1,773 women they studied, the researchers did find an association between handgrip strength and lung function.
The researchers concluded that a handgrip test is a viable way for doctors to obtain insight on respiratory health among older adults. Therefore, maintaining strong muscles is also a good way to support a healthy respiratory system.