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December 27, 1941

Breathing Capacity and Grip Strength of Preschool Children

JAMA. 1941;117(26):2295. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820520091051

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Grip strength, as measured with a hand dynamometer, and "vital" capacity, as measured with a spirometer, are two of the oldest and most popular tests for what is vaguely described as physical fitness. Precisely what is measured in each case and what may be the significance of the measurements are questions still unanswered by the present monograph. It is, however, of value to examine the results of such measurements. Dr. Metheny's book is a critical review of previous work and an exhaustive presentation of findings in 206 children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 6 1/2 Correlations were computed for the relation of grip strength and vital capacity with various anthropometric measurements as well as with "health ratings," "fatigue ratings" and school absences. Values for normals, repeatability and change with growth are presented. Some slight relation between grip strength and "health" was noted, but vital capacity showed no such

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