A firm handshake could indicate a longer life

Lisa Wurth

September 30, 2010

British researchers recently pooled together a set of 33 databases of tens of thousands of seniors who lived outside of assisted living facilities and found that those with a firm handshake actually lived 1.67 times longer than their peers, according to Reuters Health.

This appeared to be due to the greater physical strength that a firm handshake displayed. The researchers also hypothesized that income, disease and overall bodily decline could affect the results.

Other basic tests of strength were conducted as well, focusing on walking speed, ability to balance on one leg and the rate of ascension from a chair, with the majority of those studied being age 70 or over, the news source reports.

Rachel Cooper of London's Medical Research Council, told the news provider that these simple tests could be "useful indicators for subsequent health," but she added that further tests would have to be administered to determine the overall value of these assessments.

Experts claim that staying active can lead to seniors having a stronger sense of balance, which may help prevent falls in the home.

However, it may be best to have a medical alert system in place in the event of an unexpected injury. These devices can allow older adults to age safely and independently by giving them the ability to call family or doctors if they are in need of assistance.

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