What Your Handshake Tells about You

July 4, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. coincide [koh-in-SAHYD]  (v.) – to match or to agree with another idea or information
Example: My ideas coincide with the ideas of the manager.

2. mortality [mawr-TAL-i-tee] (n.) – the rate of death in a specific group or area
Example: The mortality rate in the country has increased because of the flu epidemic.

3. noteworthy [NOHT-wur-th ee] (adj.) – deserves to be given praise or attention
Example: He gave a very noteworthy speech last week.

4. grip [grip] (n.) – the act of holding something firmly
Example:  I cannot hold my chopsticks well because I have a weak grip.

5. intimidating [in-TIM-i-dey-ting] (adj.) – causing one to feel nervous or scared
Example: The new manager looks intimidating to me.


Read the text below.
Birthdays are not the only indicator of one’s age. A new study showed that a handshake may also determine how fast a person will age.

According to a study published in the journal Public Library of Science (or PLOS) ONE, a person’s grip coincides with other markers of aging such as mortality, cognitive decline, and recovery period.

Researcher Serguei Scherbov went through 50 studies about the same subject. He found one study that is particularly noteworthy. Based on a survey, there is no difference in handshake between a 65-year-old white woman who didn’t finish secondary education and a 69-year-old woman who had completed secondary education. This may imply that both women in the same age group have the same grip strength. However, a 65-year-old ages faster because of her educational background.

On the other hand, the stronger the handshake, the younger the person is. Of course, a handshake can also mean other things. A previous study revealed that a person’s hand grip says something about his or her personality. A firm handshake may signify that a person is outgoing and less anxious. A weak handshake may say that a person has low self-esteem, while a bone-crushing handshake may imply that a person is intimidating. Out of all these, a firm handshake is best to make a good first impression.

The purpose of the study is to gauge the aging speed of different age groups. The group that ages the fastest could be helped by existing policies. This study could also be used annually during physical checkups.

However, the results of this study may not apply to everybody, especially those with arthritis who will most likely give a weak handshake.    

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think handshakes can really determine a person’s age? Why or why not?
·         Do you agree with the conclusion that a person with low educational level ages faster? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         How do you think people can prolong their lives?
·         Would you want to live a very long life? Why or why not?

July 4, 2014