There is 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 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 shock you and 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 conducted an arm strength test among a large group of men 20-34 years old and compared it to a group of men who took the same test 30 years ago at the same age. Grip strength is an important key indicator of muscular strength and health, which is why it alarmed the researchers when they received the test results.
The test was quite simple: 237 students were asked to grip a certain object with their right hand as strong as they could. They ended up creating only an average pressure of 98 pounds, while their counterparts, volunteers who took the same test at 1985, hit 117 pounds of pressure.
Note that the researchers do point out that the most recent test was universal, while the previous test included a vast amount of students from the Milwaukee area and blue collar workers that tend to have a stronger grip. Another interesting fact is that in the recent study of North Carolinian students, the 30-34 year old men had the least difference in strength compared to their “fathers” with a difference of only 11 pounds of force. In comparison, the largest difference between the millennials and their fathers was in the age group of 25-29, which gripped with 25 pounds less pressure than their fathers.
Testing the millennial females brought completely different results, as both generations held a close average strength of around 75 pounds of pressure. The women of today are actually 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 in addition back in the day less women participated in hard labor jobs.
It is fair to say that choices millennials have made and higher education have weakened this generation. As stated in the beginning of this article, this is the most educated generation in history, not the physically strongest. Perhaps if this generation quit Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to join a gym, the next test researchers conduct will have completely different results!
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