Today's Men Are Weaker Than Their Dads, Says New Study

Here's why millennials aren't as strong as their fathers were.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger in his pumped-up prime. 

Research has proven that at least in one key respect, men of a certain age today just aren't as strong as their dads were. Sure, most dads of men aged 20 to 34 today didn't look a thing like Ah-nuld. They did, however, apparently have considerably better grip strength. 

Citing a study in the Journal of Hand Therapy, the Washington Post reports "that millennial men may have significantly weaker hands and arms than men the same age did 30 years ago." 

Researchers tested 237 men in the 20-34 age group at various North Carolina universities. They discovered that when compared to grip and pinch strength tests conducted on men of similar ages in 1985, there had been a nearly 20-lb reduction from the number of pounds of force men exerted 30 years ago to today. 

That is, the modern young adult man in the North Carolina tests could only put out about 98 lbs of force. Men surveyed in 1985 could clamp down with 117 lbs of pinch and grip power. 

While the North Carolina survey doesn't necessarily indicate a national fall-off in strength among men whose fathers apparently were a little more able to crush beer cans with manly force, it does, the Post reported, fall in line with other studies pointing to a general fall-off in certain kinds of ability.

Women, however, have maintained about the same levels of gripping or pinching power.

Before you snicker at the poor millennial guy who may be a little less able to wield a hammer or hang onto the ledge of a building, know that the Post also reports there's a logical reason for the drop in this kind of muscle power:

So what’s going on here: a crisis of masculinity? A mass-effiminization of the American male? Not exactly. The biggest driver, as alluded to above, is likely changes in Americans’ work habits. In the 1980s, men were more likely to be employed in jobs involving manual labor than they are today. Less daily physical activity means less overall strength — and incidentally,more weight gain, too.

It's essentially the desk/computer jobs' fault. Want to increase a younger man's ability to really clench up in a forceful handshake contest? Hand them more jobs involving sledgehammers and axes. 

h/t WaPo