Original Research

Influence of hand dominance, gender, and body mass index on hand grip strength

Mercy A. Agtuahene, Jonathan Quartey, Samuel Kwakye
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 79, No 1 | a1923 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v79i1.1923 | © 2023 Mercy A. Agtuahene, Jonathan Quartey, Samuel Kwakye | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 May 2023 | Published: 27 October 2023

About the author(s)

Mercy A. Agtuahene, Department of Physiotherapy, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana
Jonathan Quartey, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
Samuel Kwakye, Department of Physiotherapy, West Africa Football Academy, Sogakope, Ghana


Background: Hand grip strength (HGS) measurements serve as an objective measure of upper extremity function. Reliable hand strength evaluation is vital for assessing treatment effectiveness.

Objectives: To determine the influence of hand dominance, gender, and body mass index (BMI) on HGS among university students in Ghana.

Method: In our cross-sectional study of 304 participants, height, weight, and BMI were measured using a stadiometer and weighing scale. Hand grip strength was assessed with a dynamometer. We compared HGS in dominant and non-dominant hands for males and females using a paired t-test and analysed the correlation between grip strength and weight, height, and BMI using Pearson’s correlation coefficient.

Results: The mean HGS for right-hand dominant (RHD) male participants was 35.62 kg (± 7.36) for the right hand compared with 32.84 kg (± 7.36) for the left hand. For females RHD the mean HGS in the right hand was 24.60 kg (± 6.42) compared to 22.12 kg (± 5.37) in the left hand. The mean weight, height and BMI of participants were 62.86 kg (± 10.30), 1.67 m (± 0.09) and 22.9 kg/m2 (± 4.9), respectively. A significant relationship existed between HGS and height (r = 0.492; p < 0.01) as well as HGS and BMI (r = 0.290; p < 0.01). However, no notable connection was found between HGS and weight (r = 0.001; p = 0.982).

Conclusion: Hand grip strength was significantly stronger in the dominant hand of both males and females.

Clinical implications: Physiotherapists should test HGS objectively and quantitatively for use in disease evaluation, diagnosis, and therapy.


hand grip strength; hand dominance; body mass index; dynamometer; non-dominant hand

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Goal 4: Quality education


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