Age-Related Changes in Grip Force and Dynamics of Hand Movement

MA Gilles, Alan Wing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)


The authors investigated whether older adults (n = 16; mean age = 65 years) increased grip force to compensate for load force fluctuations during up and down movements more than young adults did (n = 16; mean age = 24 years) and whether older and young adults exhibited similar adaptation of grip force to alterations in friction associated with changes in object surface texture. As previously reported, older adults used a higher level of grip force than young adults during static holding. Increased grip force was observed in the older group during movement. The increase was appropriate to the lower coefficient of friction estimated for the older group. In both groups, grip force was greater with a smooth than with a rough surface (the latter having the higher coefficient of friction) during static holding and during movement. Moreover, grip force modulation was equally well synchronized with load force fluctuation during movement in the two groups. The authors concluded that changes in organization of grip force with age are well adapted to change in hand-object interface properties. Elevated grip force in older adults does not necessarily signify a fundamental change in synchronizing grip force modulation with load force fluctuation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of motor behavior
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • inertial load force
  • coordination
  • grip force
  • safety margin
  • aging


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