Article Text

Grip strength and lower limb extension power in 19–72-year-old Danish men and women: the Health2006 study
  1. Mette Aadahl1,
  2. Nina Beyer2,
  3. Allan Linneberg1,
  4. Betina Heinsbæk Thuesen1,
  5. Torben Jørgensen1,3
  1. 1Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Capital Region of Denmark, Glostrup, Denmark
  2. 2Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Research Unit, Department of Physical Therapy, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mette Aadahl; metaad01{at}


Aim To assess muscular fitness by hand grip strength (HGS) and lower limb extension power (LEP) and to explore associations with age, leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and body composition.

Study population A population-based sample of 19–72-year-old men and women were invited to participate in the health survey 'Health2006'. The response rate was 43.8% (N=3471), 55% were women, and the mean age was 49±13 years.

Methods Height, weight, waist circumference, HGS and LEP were measured and participants answered a self-administered questionnaire. LEP was measured in a subsample of subjects (n=438). Gender-stratified multiple linear regression analyses were carried out. Data were adjusted for age, height and waist circumference.

Results A large inter-individual variation was found in HGS and LEP. Both measures declined with age and were highly correlated (r=0.75, p<0.0001). LTPA was positively associated with HGS in men (p=0.0002) and women (p<0.0001) in the total sample, but in the subsample was significant in men only (p=0.004); the association between LTPA and LEP was significant in women only (p=0.02).

Conclusion In this large population-based study sample, muscular fitness declined with age and LTPA was associated with HGS in both genders. The findings emphasise the importance of maintaining a physically active lifestyle at any age.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and

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  • Correction notice The “To cite: …” information and running footer in this article have been updated with the correct volume number (volume 1).

  • To cite: Aadahl M, Beyer N, Linneberg A, et al. Grip strength and lower limb extension power in 19–72-year-old Danish men and women: the Health2006 study. BMJ Open 2011;1:e000192. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000192

  • Funding This work was supported by Timber Merchant Vilhelm Bangs Foundation, The Danish Heart Foundation, The Danish Board of Health, The Danish Environmental Protection Agency, The Copenhagen County Research Foundation, Aase and Einar Danielsens Foundation, The Velux Foundation, ALK-Abelló A/S (Hørsholm, Denmark), The Danish Scientific Research Council, and The Health Insurance Foundation (Helsefonden).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the local ethics committee of Copenhagen county (KA20060011).

  • Contributors AL, TJ and MAa were responsible for the conception and design of the study. NB provided advice on the methodology of data collection. NB, BT and MAa undertook the analysis and interpretation of data. MAa produced the first draft of the article and NB, BT, AL and TJ critically revised the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data available.

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