Dr. Kate Duchowny and her team carefully analyzed data from the Health and Retirement Study, which has been available to the public for the purpose of research on aging since 1990. They analyzed the data of 8,326 people aged 65 and over, and noticed that people with weaker muscles had a 50% chance of passing away earlier than those with stronger muscles.
According to Duchowny, "maintaining muscle strength throughout life - and especially in later life - is extremely important for longevity and aging independently.”
The researchers measured the participants' muscles strength by using a dynamometer, which needs to be squeezed by the participant in order to determine their hand grip strength. Women whose hand grip strength was less than 48 pounds and men whose hand grip strength was under 85 pounds were labeled as having weak muscles, and these groups made up 46% of the total sample together.
The results of this trial have led the team to conclude that measuring grip strength needs to become a staple of routine physicals, especially considering that they are both highly cost-effective and easy to perform.
According to Duchowny, "this study further highlights the importance of integrating grip strength measurements into routine care—not just for older adults but even in midlife,” and that "having hand grip strength be an integral part of routine care would allow for earlier interventions, which could lead to increased longevity and independence for individuals.”
If you want to measure your own muscle strength in the comfort of your own home, you can actually order your own dynamometer from the internet, which you can use to motivate you to start building some muscle before it's too late. If you do decide to purchase one of your own, here's a short video showing you how to use it properly: