Relationships between body somatotype and handgrip strength of young Nigerian undergraduate students

Background: Somatotype (SMT) is characterised by overall body adiposity, muscle mass distribution and strength. However, little is known about the connection between SMT and handgrip strength (HGS) in young healthy individuals. This study investigates the relationship between SMT and HGS among young Nigerian adults.
Methods: This cross-sectional study involved 385 (male: n=207, female: n=178) young adults of a Nigerian university using purposive sampling technique. Participants’ physical characteristics were recorded while HGS was assessed using a digital dynamometer. SMT was classified as endomorph (ENM), mesomorph (MSM) and ectomorph (ECM) using the skinfold calliper measures and the Heath-Carter equations. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Alpha level was set at p<0.05.
Results: The means of age, body mass index and dominant (HGSD) of participants were 20.26±2.16 years, 19.81±1.95Kg/m² and 38.34±12.54 Kgf, respectively. The means of ENM, MSM and ECM were 3.98±1.14, 4.12±1.19, and 3.92±1.06, respectively. There were significant differences between male and female HGSD and non-dominant (HGSND); 47.66±8.77 and 27.50±5.64 Kgf (t=27.18; p=0.010) and 42.58±6.63 and 22.87±3.80 Kgf (t=36.39; p=0.010), respectively. There were significant inverse correlations between ENM and each of HGSD (r=-0.60; p=0.001) and HGSND (r=-0.70; p=0.001). Similarly, significant inverse correlation existed between ECM and each of HGSD (r=-0.38; p=0.001) and HGSND (r=-0.31; p=0.001). However, there were significant positive correlations between MSM and each of HGSD (r=0.45; p=0.001) and HGSND (r=0.39; p=0.001).
Conclusion: Body somatotype appears to influence the degree of handgrip strength among healthy Nigerian undergraduate students. Mesomorphs and ectomorphs have higher handgrip strengths than endomorphs.

Published in 2021, 25 (1) Keywords: , , ,

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