There’s no doubt that a lot has changed between Generation X and millennials. In fact, the differences are astonishing. In the U.S., millennials’ loan debts are double that of the previous generation, they are earning 20% less than generation X, and they are the most educated generation in history. One fact, in particular, will get you thinking a bit. According to a study in the U.S., millennials are much weaker than their fathers.
The journal of hand therapy has conducted a test of arm strength among men 20-34 years old and compared it to men who took the same test 30 years ago at the same age. The grip strength is an important key indicator of muscular strength and health, thus the researchers were alarmed when they received the results of the test.
The test was simple: 237 students were asked to grip a certain object with their right hand as strongly as they could. They ended up creating only an average pressure of 98 pounds, while their counterparts, volunteers who took the same test in 1985, hit 117 pounds of pressure. Note that the researchers do point out that the test was a universal test, and that blue collar workers will tend to have a stronger grip. However, the test conducted 30 years ago did include a vast amount of students from the Milwaukee area. An interesting fact is that in the recent study of the North Carolinian students, the 30-34-year-old men had the least difference in strength compared to their “fathers” with a smaller difference of only 11 pounds of force.
The largest difference between the millennials and their fathers was in the age group of 25-29, which gripped with a pressure 25 pounds lower. Testing the millennial females brought about completely different results, as both generations held a close average strength of 75 pounds of pressure. In fact, the women of today are just a bit stronger than their mothers, holding a pressure of 98 pounds of force. The explanation for this is simple: women started joining the work force in the 80’s in larger numbers, and back in the day, fewer women participated in hard labor jobs.
It’s fair to say that the choices Millennials have made as well as formal education has weakened this generation. As stated in the beginning of this article, this is the most educated generation, not the physically strongest. Perhaps if this generation quit Instagram and joined a gym, the next test they conduct will have completely different results!