1998-07-13

Hand Strength in a Simulated Microgravity Environment 981788

A study was conducted to evaluate the performance characteristics of hand strength measurement devices in both earth gravity and zero gravity. It was noted that both hand grip and pinch strengths increased by approximately 14% in zero gravity. We believe that an exposure to zero gravity will affect the co-contracting muscle activity. More specifically, we hypothesize that the zero gravity silences or shuts down the antagonistic or anti-gravity muscles. This in turn will result in greater joint strengths when agonist muscles are activated voluntarily. This could also expose a joint to overexertion or injury situations. In summary, there is a great need to understand how zero gravity affects the musculoskeletal system from a biomechanical perspective.

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