<bold>Purpose.</bold> The purpose of the study was to estimate the effects of cylindrical handle diameter and handle position on maximal grip force in young males and females. <bold>Basic procedures.</bold> The maximal voluntary grip force perpendicular to the surface of the handle was estimated using a glove with 320 sensors (Tekscan, USA - GripTM System). Individual digit and palm forces were studied. Different handle diameters (20, 30, 40 and 50 mm) and handle positions (vertical, natural - vertical handle with 12 deg of ulnar deviation of the hand, and horizontal) were applied during measurement. <bold>Main findings.</bold> Using handles and hand tools frequently leads to the feeling of discomfort in daily life. In a longer term, using improper handles and hand tools may also cause musculoskeletal disorders. Poor wrist positioning and handle diameter can diminish grip strength. The ideal diameter and wrist position during holding a tool handle was determined for males and females using maximal grip strength measurements. The obtained results showed that a tool handle diameter of 20 to 30 mm is optimal for the general population. Further research should be carried out to estimate the impact of wrist positioning in the elderly. <bold>Conclusions.</bold> The handle positioning is not a significant factor influencing hand grip force capabilities for young men and women. The grip force of three digits did not significantly vary for different handle positions used in the study. The optimal handle diameter for maximal grip force was estimated to be between 20 and 30 mm, and the diameter was larger for men. On the basis of results for individual digits the 30 mm diameter was chosen as optimal for both sexes.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.