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Fitness: Stronger muscles increase life expectancy


Study shows: Longer life through more muscle strength

Millions of Germans go to the gym regularly to strengthen their muscles during strength training. How useful this is for health has now been shown in a recent study that found that people with more muscle strength live longer. The grip strength is particularly important here, the researchers report.

Increased life expectancy through regular exercise

To stay young longer, you should exercise regularly. Both endurance and strength training are recommended. The latter apparently also increases life expectancy. Because those who have more muscle strength live longer. This has now been shown in a new study by researchers from the University of Michigan (USA).

Maintaining muscle strength

According to the study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, people with low muscle strength die 50 percent sooner than their stronger peers.

"Maintaining muscle strength throughout life - and especially later in life - is extremely important for longevity and aging, independently of one another," lead researcher Kate Duchowny said in a statement.

According to the scientist, previous scientific studies have shown that muscle strength is an even more important predictor of general health and longevity than muscle mass.

Hand grip of outstanding importance

For the current study, data from 8,326 US men and women over 65 years of age were analyzed.

It was shown that hand grip is particularly important, since if it is weak, it is associated with restrictions on mobility.

Although this is a relatively simple test, measuring grip strength is currently not part of most routine exams, Duchowny said.

"This study underlines the importance of integrating grip strength measurements into routine care - not just for older adults, but even in the middle of life," said the study author.

"If hand strength were an integral part of routine care, this would enable earlier interventions that could lead to increased longevity and independence for the individual."

Earlier studies have also shown that the power of the hands is important for the diagnosis of diseases.

“Weak” people die earlier

As explained in the University of Michigan communication, grip strength can be measured using a device called a dynamometer.

This is compressed by the patient to measure his strength in kilograms. The researchers used thresholds to define strength levels.

For example, muscle weakness with a hand strength of less than 39 kg for men and 22 kg for women has been identified.

Based on their data, 46 percent of the subjects were initially classified as “weak”.

The researchers found that people in the “weak” category were 50 percent more likely to die than the comparison group.

The study also shows that “muscle weakness is a serious public health problem,” said Duchowny. (ad)

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