London: A firm handshake, often seen as a sign of confidence, could also signal that you will have a long life, say scientists.
A decades-long study of more than 50,000 people has revealed that our grip strength, the speed we walk or get up from a chair and our ability to balance are the possible indicators of how long we may live.
The Medical Research Council measured the firmness of the grip in study volunteers across 33 countries aged from 18 years to over 80.
The link between grip strength and survival could be seen in younger as well as older adults.
Other tests of physical capability, including tests of walking speed, chair-rising and standing balance, were conducted in volunteers aged 60 years and older.
"Simple non-invasive assessment measures like these, that are linked to current and future health, could help doctors identify those most vulnerable to poor health in later life and who may benefit from early intervention to keep them active for longer," Sky News quoted Rachel Cooper from the Medical Research Council as saying.
"Research that helps people to enjoy a long and healthy life is a crucial part of the MRC``s work and evermore important to help cater for the health needs of an ageing population," she added.
The findings were published in the British Medical Journal.