Background: Grip muscle force has always been used to assess functional limitations in
elderly. Its use as a tool to assess work capacity has never been described in the literature.
Objective: To describe the patent determinants of grip strength and the usefulness of its measurement
in assessing workability index in the healthcare sector.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study conducted in a sample of 293 healthcare workers representative of 1181 based on
a comprehensive questionnaire about socio-professional characteristics and on an 8-item work capacity evaluation (WAI).
Besides, Body mass index was measured and muscle strength was assessed by JAMAR hydraulic dynamometer.
Results: Handgrip Strength was stronger in male nurses (p < 0.001), with low perceived physical load (p = 0.0001) and
working on a night shift (p = 0.001). It decreased with a greater duration of household work (p < 0.0001) and increased
with a greater BMI (p = 0.015) and a better workability index (p < 0.0001). After removal of all the variables that were
not independently associated with the muscle strength force, factors accounting for 52.6% of the variance in nurses handgrip
strength were gender (p < 0.001), workability index (p < 0.001), duration of household work (p = 0.021), BMI (p =
0.002), perceived physical load (p < 0.001) and work schedule (p = 0.002).
Conclusion: Grip Strength Test is a useful tool to assess strength and functional capacity at work in healthcare workers.
Further longitudinal studies are required to confirm this hypothesis.