Firm handshake 'could be key to long life'

A firm handshake not only shows confidence but it also certifies your hold on life.


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Published: Sat 11 Sep 2010, 11:09 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:59 AM

Men and women blessed with a strong grip seem to outlive those whose handshakes feel limp or feeble, said scientists.

Medical Research Council scientists in Britain reviewed 33 studies from around the world, involving more than 50,000 men and women, tracking some for more than four decades.

Taken together, the studies found grip strength to be clearly linked with longevity, even in the young, reports the Daily Mail.

From the 14 studies that dealt with grip strength, researchers found that those with the weakest handclasps were 70 percent more likely to die at any given time than those with the strongest handshakes.

Similarly, the slowest walkers were almost three times more likely to die at any age than those who set the fastest pace, according to the British Medical Journal.

And those who struggled to get out of their chairs had almost twice the death rate at any given time as those who could stand up with ease.

Those who have good balance can walk briskly and can quit a chair easily tend to live longer.

In future, simple tests, such as evaluating a person’s ability to stand on one leg or squeeze a handle, could be used quickly to separate the frail from the strong.

The weaker could be prescribed weight training or other exercises to help keep them active for longer.

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