Human Hand – Things You Need To Know!

Every part of the human body has its importance and plays a crucial role in different bodily functions. The human hand is one of the most important, delicate, and complex parts of the body. The muscle and joint movements of the hand enable in performing various movements with precision and accuracy.

The hand allows in doing a wide range of activities like lifting heavy objects, having a tight grip on things, performing delicate and intricate things like threading the needle or writing on paper, etc.

About Human Hand:

The structure of the hand looks simple but is too complex as it has fairly thin bones covered with nerve fibers, tendons, blood vessels, etc. protected by a thin layer of fat and muscle and covered by the skin. The palm of the human hand is protected as it has strong padding of tendons that allow in having a tighter grip on objects. The left and the right hand are controlled by the opposite sides of the brain.

Usually one of these hands performs the complex and the finer activities as compared to the other hand with accuracy. This is the reason why people are classified either as right-handed or left-handed.

A human hand consists of a total of 27 individual bones that include 8 units of carpals, 5 metacarpals and 14 phalanges also called finger bones. All these bones are connected together with joints and ligaments. Both the hands together make up to 54 bones that are around one-quarter of the total number of bones in the body.

The human hand is divided into three areas based on the different joints into fingers, metacarpus (palm), and carpus (wrist).

The hand has more than 30 muscles that allow in performing the different complex activities.

The hands can grasp the object in different ways based on the power grip or the precision grip. Power grip allows in holding the larger heavy objects whereas precision grip allows in handling smaller delicate objects.

Hands are sensitive and act as antennae, they have 17,000 touch receptors and free nerve endings that enable picking up the sensation of pressure, pain, movement, vibrations, etc.

Average Size of An Human Hand:

The size of the hand of any individual depends on various factors like gender, age, physique, etc. The average hand size is measured in terms of length that is the distance between the wrist and the tip of the longest finger, the breadth is the distance across the widest part of the hand, and circumference is the measurement around the palm region.

1. Size of Children Hand:

The hand size of the children is small as compared to the adults and varies based on the age of the kids. A child of 6 years age has a hand length of 5.2 cms and breadth of 2.5 cms, 7 years old kid has hand length of 5.4 cms and breadth of 2.6 cms.

2. Size of Adult Hand:

The males tend to have larger hands as compared to females. The average size of the hands for the males includes an average length of 7.6 inches, breadth of 3.5 inches, and overall circumference of 8.6 inches. The female hand has an average length of 6.8 inches, breadth of 3.1 inches, and circumference of 7 inches.

3. Hand Size & Height:

The size of the hand is related to the height of the person. Reports also suggest that the height of the person can be predicted based on the length of the individual’s hand. The researchers claim that they can determine the body mass index (BMI) of the individual by knowing the length of their hand.

This conversion will be helpful for measurement in cases when the BMI calculations are not possible.

4. Hand Size of An Professional Athlete:

In sports, the size of the hand is measured in the terms of its length and thee span. The length is the distance from the tip of the longest finger to the wrist whereas the span of the hand is the measurement from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger while the hand is kept stretched out.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) records mention the largest hands in NBA for Boban Marjanovic having length/span size to be 10.75/12 inches and Shaquille O’Neal having 10.25/12 inches. The Women’s NBA records mention Britney Griner having a hand size of 9.5 inches.

5. World’s Largest Hand Size:

As per the reports from the Guinness World Records, the largest hands reported belonged to Robert Wadlow (1918-1940) that measured 12.75 inches. The tallest man living as reported in the Guinness World Records is Sultan Kosen from Turkey and has a height of 8’3”. The length of his hand is 11.22 inches.

Understanding the size of the hand is important for measuring the grip size and the glove size. Measuring the grip size is important for considering the size of the racket in the case of tennis. This is useful for selecting the roper racket to prevent injury and for improved comfortless.

The measurement for the grip size includes the measuring distance from the top horizontal line across the palm towards the tip of the extended ring finger of the dominant hand. This helps in selecting the right size racket for the individual.

The gloves are selected based on either the length, breadth, or circumference whichever is the largest of the individual’s dominant hand.

How To Measure Your Hand Size Accurately?

There are different methods and ways used for the measurement of the human hand size of the individual. Hand size measurement includes measuring the hand length, breadth, span, circumference, etc. This is important for selecting the glove size or understanding the sports aptitude and also for selecting the musical instrument, etc.

These measurements of the hand can be done easily by using the fabric-measurement tape, thread, or the paper strip. One can follow the simple steps to understand how to measure human hand size accurately. These different methods include:

1. Measurement of hand circumference:

The steps involved in the measurement of hand circumference include:

  • Wrapping the measuring tape or the thread or paper strip across the palm between the base of the thumb and portion where the index finger meets the palm.
  • For the measuring tape, note the reading on the tape where it overlaps the tape.
  • While using the thread or the paper strip, mark the point where the thread or the paper strip overlaps after wrapping. Place this strip on the flat surface and then measure the distance between the marked point using the ruler.
  • This measurement directly correlated to the glove size. The adult hand measures between 6 to 11 inches while the kids have a measurement below 6 inches.

2. Measurement of hand length:

Hand length measurement is important when the person has larger or longer hands. In this case, the hand length is important for the selection of gloves instead of hand circumference. Steps involved for measuring the hand length include:

  • Extend the hand with the fingers outstretched. The middle finger is usually the longest finger and for the measurement of the hand length.
  • Measure the length between the tip of the longest finger to the base of the palm where it meets the wrist using the fabric measuring tape or thread or the paper strip.

The measurement of the hand length varies for the size of the baseball glove or the tennis racquet grip size. Be precise on for what purpose you are about to measure your hand length and follow the measuring techniques before measuring your hands.

  • For the baseball glove: Outstretch the fingers and measure the distance between the tip of the index finger and the base of the palm using the fabric measuring tape or thread or the paper strip.

Note down this reading for the selection of the perfectly fitting baseball glove.

  • For the grip size: Measure the distance between the tip of the ring finger and the lowest lateral crease of the palm where the palm folds across the thumb-line using the measuring tape

3. Measurement of the hand span:

This measurement is important as it helps in gauging the activities like catching, tackling, throwing, gripping, etc. The steps involved in the measurement of the hand span include:

  • Outstretch the fingers of the dominant hand.
  • Measure the distance between the tip of the outstretched small finger and the tip of the thumb.

Note this reading for the measurement of the hand span, if you are a football, basketball or baseball player.

This reading plays an important role in selecting a musical instrument like the cello where the hand span is crucial. Handspan is also important in various sports activities like football, basketball, baseball, etc. where they require the measurement of the hand span.

Human Hand Weight

The weight of the human hand depends on the individual. Considering the human body, the weight of the hand is approximately 0.58 % of the total body weight. The average weight of a human has is 0.46 kg (1.06 Kg) for a healthy human weighing 81 kgs (180 pounds).

Fun Facts on human hand

Many things are known about human hands but some interesting and fun facts regarding human hands. Some of the most peculiar human hand facts are follows, take a look

  • Sensitivity: Fingers have a missive and intricate nerve system. Fingertips are very sensitive to temperature, pressure, motion, moisture, texture, vibration, etc. as it has more number of touch and thermoreceptors as compared to any other body part. The fingertips aptly communicate with the brain.
  • Fingerprints: Every individual has unique fingerprints and no two individuals have the same fingerprint pattern except twins. Twins can have similar fingerprints but the chances are very rare around 1 in 100 million.
  • Least used finger: As per the study done by the surgeons, it is observed that the index finger is the least used finger.
  • Finger puppets: There are no muscles in the fingers and the fingertips are connected to the palm and forearm muscles by tendons. These tendons help in making finger movements. Due to this reason, it can be said that the fingers act as pseudo puppets controlled by the muscles present at the bottom of the hand and arm.
  • Thumbs: Thumbs are responsible for more than 50% of the functions performed by the hands. The opposable location of the thumb is very important for most hand functions.
  • Injury-prone: As the hand is the most used part of the body and is delicate at the same time, it is more prone to any type of injury. The most common type of hand injury includes striking of the fingers to the hard surface.
  • More number of bones: The total number of bones in both hands makes up to one-fourth of the total bones present in the human body.

In addition to those facts, take a look over some interesting facts on human hands.

  • Most of the people are right-handed and only around 10-15% of the population is left-handed.
  • One in hundred people are ambidextrous which means these people can use both their hands with equal efficiency and accuracy.
  • Hands being one of the most delicate parts, it includes 29 joints, 123 ligaments, 48 nerves, 24 muscles, and 30 arteries.
  • The quarter portion of the brain’s motor cortex region controls the movements of the hand muscles.
  • Only primates have hands and humans have shorter hands compared to the other primates like apes, gorillas, monkeys, etc. The advantage for humans is that they have the opposable thumb that makes their hands stronger with improved grip.
  • Holding hands leads to decreased levels of cortisol that is responsible for stress.
  • Undersides of the fingers and the palms do not undergo tanning.
  • Men tend to have longer ring fingers as compared to their index fingers when compared to the female finger structure.
  • The state of the fingernails depicts the state of health of the individual. It indicated the issues related to the level of vitamins, minerals, etc. in the body. It provides warning signs for some deficiencies in the body.
  • The nail color and the small moons on each nail allow in identifying the oxygen levels in blood and blood circulation.
  • The vein present in the ring finger Venna Amoris also call the vein of love is directly connected to the human heart. This is the reason why the engagement ring is worn on this finger.
  • It takes around 6 months for the growth of the fingernail from the root to the tip.

Bottom Line

Human hands are one of the most important parts of the body as different activities involve the use of hands like grasping, writing, caressing, holding, feeling, etc. It is one of the important organs used for improved communication with the surrounding.