Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology & Public Health Education

First Advisor

Grant R. Tomkinson


Purpose: To systematically analyze temporal trends in handgrip strength (HGS) for adults.

Methods: Four electronic databases, along with researcher’s personal libraries, were searched up to August 2019 for studies reporting on temporal trends in mean HGS for apparently healthy adults who were broadly representative of their source population. Temporal trends in mean HGS were analyzed at the country-sex-age group level using sample-weighted linear or polynomial (quadratic or cubic) regression models.

Results: Data from eight studies/datasets were extracted to estimate trends in mean HGS for 2,584,978 adults aged 20–90+ years from 13 different countries (across three continents) between 1960 and 2017. There was a general declining trend in HGS among adults in recent decades (post-2000), with negligible age- and sex-related temporal trends.

Conclusion: The recent decline in HGS may reflect recent declines in functional capability and general health.