Open Access Open Badges Research article

Prediction of grip and key pinch strength in 978 healthy subjects

Felix Angst12*, Susann Drerup1, Stephan Werle1, Daniel B Herren1, Beat R Simmen1 and Jörg Goldhahn13

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Upper Extremity and Hand Surgery, Schulthess Klinik, Lengghalde 2, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland

2 Rehaclinic Zurzach, Quellenstrasse, 5330 Bad Zurzach, Switzerland

3 Institute for Biomechanics of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), 8090 Zurich, Switzerland

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2010, 11:94  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-94

Published: 19 May 2010



Hand strength is an important independent surrogate parameter to assess outcome and risk of morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to determine the predictive power of cofactors and to predict population-based normative grip and pinch strength.


A representative population survey was used as the basis for prediction analyses (n = 978). Bivariate relationships between grip/pinch strengths of the dominate hand were explored by means of all relevant mathematical functions to maximize prediction. The resulting best functions were combined into a multivariate regression.


Polynoms (up to the third degree) were the best predictive functions. On the bivariate level, height was best correlated to grip (46.2% explained variance) and pinch strength (37.7% explained variance) in a linear relationship, followed by sex, age, weight, and occupational demand on the hand. Multivariate regression provided predicted values close to the empirical ones explaining 76.6% of the variance for grip strength and 67.7% for pinch strength.


The five easy-to-measure cofactors sex, age, body height, categorized occupational demand on the hand, and body weight provide a highly accurate prediction of normative grip and pinch strength.