Association of hand grip strength with psychological stress, exercise habits and body composition amongst medical students: a cross-sectional study

Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of hand grip strength (HGS) test in identifying highly stressed individuals and to examine the effect of exercise and lifestyle on HGS and stress measures. Material and method: It is cross-sectional study. Students of the Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland were asked to fill out a questionnaire, undergo body composition analysis, perform HGS test and provide a saliva sample for cortisol measurement. Results: Self-rated stress (SRS) was significantly higher in pre-clinical years (PCY) compared to clinical years (CY). HGS was significantly lower in PCY males than CY males. Participants who performed some form of exercise had significantly higher HGS compared with those who did not exercise. A positive correlation between HGS and BMI was noted. Students with low HGS were found to have lower levels of salivary cortisol (SC). However, there was no significant difference in SC levels between PCY and CY students. Conclusions: HGS may be a reliable method of identifying stressed individuals and promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors. HGS testing is a safe, cheap and easy to perform method for a large number of participants while being time economical.
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Citation
Barre S, Inyingi L, Castellanos JO, Patel A, Ruckemann-Dziurdzinska KA, Bryl ED, Witkowski JM. Association of hand grip strength with psychological stress, exercise habits and body composition amongst medical students: a cross-sectional study. Eur J Transl Clin Med. 2024;7(1):33-46. DOI: 10.31373/ejtcm/189605
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