The effects of cold immersion and hand protection on grip strength

M. J. Vincent, M. J. Tipton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The maximal voluntary grip strength (MVGS) of male volunteers was examined following a series of five intermittent 2 min cold water (5°C) immersions of the unprotected hand or forearm. MVGS changes due to wearing a protective glove were also investigated. The surface electrical activity over the hand flexor muscles was recorded, as was the skin temperature of the hand and forearm. MVGS decreased significantly (p < 0.01) following hand immersion (16%) and forearm immersion (13%). The majority of these reductions occurred during the first 2-min period of immersion. The effect of wearing a glove after unprotected hand cooling also produced significant (p < 0.01) MVGS reductions which averaged 14%. These reductions were in addition to those caused by hand cooling. We conclude that both hand and forearm protection are important for the maintenance of handgrip strength following cold water immersion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-741
Number of pages4
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1988


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