Study: Men with strong handshakes more likely to be married

We all know having a firm handshake (but not too firm) is an essential body language component in business. But according to a new study it could also determine whether a man is marriage material or not.

We all know having a firm handshake (but not too firm) is an essential body language component in business. But according to a new study it could also determine whether a man is marriage material or not.

Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Columbia Aging Center found men with a stronger grip were more likely to be married than men with weaker grips. Apparently, a firm grip indicates that the man is strong, independent and has really good coping skills — for all of life’s hardships.

In other words, a firm handshake indicates that he will stick with you in sickness and in health and he also won’t be sick and will be on the healthy side.

The study was conducted with two groups of Norwegians. One group had subjects that were born in between 1923 and 1935 and a second group that was born from 1936 to 1948. The 5,009 participants were required to squeeze a rubber balloon, and a vigorimeter measured their handgrip strength.

Firm handshake = healthy

With the handshake, it really comes down to the man showing he is a healthy specimen. “Our results hint that women may be favoring partners who signal strength and vigor when they marry,” said Vegard Skirbekk, a professor at the Columbia Ageing Centre and the study’s author. “If longer-lived women marry healthier men, then both may avoid or defer the role of caregiver, while less healthy men remain unmarried and must look elsewhere for assistance.”

The study found that grip strength is particularly important for older adults. A weak handshake can indicate a slew of “health risks — for heart disease and fractures, physical mobility, the capacity to be socially active and healthy, and to enjoy a good quality of life.” Wow. That’s a whole lot of information for one handshake. If only the women on The Bachelorette knew this. They would save so much time.

Meredith Lepore|is the Deputy Editor of Ladders and can be reached at mlepore@theladders.com.