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January 28, 2023

Millennial Health Watch: Keep Extra Large Binder Clips Around, Just in Case

For the past few years, health experts have been warning anyone within earshot that all the sitting we've been doing will be the death of us all. In more recent health news pointed directly at soft and supple-handed white-collar professionals, your grip is being called into question:

Young adults in the United States are losing their grips, a recent study suggests. Researchers tested 237 of them and found that men ages 20 to 34 and women in their early 20s had significantly weaker hand grips than young people tested in 1985. Women in their late 20s were weaker in their right, but not left, hands.

Predictably, publishers like The Daily Mail, The Blaze and The Daily Caller scream that this perfectly illustrates Millennals' pansiness. They seem to suggest that the youth of 30 years ago were superior because back then, when you shook someone's hand, you crushed your recipient's metacarpals in order to convey the right message. These days, limp handshakes are yet another sign that this generation is SOFT and will royally screw everything up.

However! The author of the study, Elizabeth Fain, isn't so worried about the hand shake stuff as she is the overall health of Millennials:

A bigger concern, she and other experts say, is that the hand grip findings — if confirmed by larger studies — could be a sign of more general flabbiness in a generation that does more texting and clicking than manual labor.

“The fact that you have a weak grip is important because you probably are weak elsewhere,” says Richard Bohannon, a physical therapist and  a professor of health studies at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C.  “It’s a window into your world. … It provides a peek behind the curtain at your health status.”

Yes, it's true that agriculture and manufacturing aren't hotbeds of today's young workers, so this might be a valid concern for you all.

As accountants, it's possible that working in some regular binder clip exercises might keep your grip strong, but like your new standing desk, it might not be enough to extend your life expectancy. Be sure to take a hand grip with you on your next Pokémon Go excursion.

[USAT, Journal of Hand Therapy]

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