PNF and Movement 2022; 20(1): 125-134
https://doi.org/10.21598/JKPNFA.2022.20.1.125
Association between Hand Grip Strength and Gait Variability in Elderly: Pilot Study
Do-Youn Lee, PT, PhD.1,3⋅Yungon Lee, MS.2,3⋅Sunghoon Shin, PhD.2,3†
1Department of Physical Therapy, Daegu University
2School of Kinesiology, Yeungnam University
3Institute of Human Ecology, Yeungnam University
Correspondence to: Sunghoon Shin (sshin27@ynu.ac.kr)
Received: April 6, 2022; Revised: April 10, 2022; Accepted: April 11, 2022; Published online: April 30, 2022.
© Korea Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Association. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract
Purpose: The aim of this study was to establish an association between grip strength and gait variability in the elderly.
Methods: The participants in this experiment (n = 20) were aged 65 or older. Power grip and lateral pinch forces were obtained in grip strength tests, and spatiotemporal gait parameters were collected from IMU sensors during 6 min actual walking to test the gait of participants. The collected gait parameters were converted to coefficient of variation (CV) values. To confirm the association between grip strength and gait variability, a partial correlation analysis was conducted in which height, weight, and gait speed were input as controlling variables.
Results: Grip power showed a significant negative correlation with the stride length CV (r = -0.52), and the lateral pinch force showed a significant negative correlation with the stance CV (r = -0.65) and swing CV (r = -0.63).
Conclusion: This study reveals that gait variability decreases as grip strength increases, although height, weight, and gait speed were controlled. Thus, grip strength testing, a simple aging evaluation method, can help identify unstable gait in older adults at risk of falling, and grip strength can be utilized as a non-invasive measurement method for frailty management and prevention.
Keywords: Hand grip strength, Gait variability, Elderly


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