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Bridging the gap between strengthspan and lifespan
  1. Avery D Faigenbaum1,
  2. Antonio Garcia-Hermoso2,
  3. James P MacDonald3,4,
  4. Arnaldo Mortatti5,
  5. Tamara Rial Rebullido6
  1. 1 Dept of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey, USA
  2. 2 Universidad Pública de Navarra, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain
  3. 3 Division of Sports Medicine, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  4. 4 Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  5. 5 Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte (RN), Brazil
  6. 6 Department of Health and Physical Education, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Avery D Faigenbaum, Dept of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey, USA; faigenba{at}

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Regular participation in muscle strength activities (MSA) is associated with a variety of health outcomes including decreases in all-cause mortality rates and increases in physical functioning, cardiometabolic health and psychosocial well-being.1 2 The importance of preserving muscular strength later in life is so compelling that clinicians have issued a ‘call to action’ for integrating strength-building exercise into geriatric medicine.3 Yet focusing exclusively on the later years of life overlooks the importance of building and maintaining a reserve of muscular strength earlier in life as a requisite baseline. We propose the construct of strengthspan which refers to a quantitative continuous metric of physical strength (eg, 1-repetition maximum, grip strength, functional strength tests) over a lifespan that contributes to improved health outcomes and added years of life. By expanding the strengthspan with MSA at every stage of life, individuals may not only live longer but may be more likely to move independently, function safely and perform a range of physical tasks effectively throughout the lifespan.2 4 5

While healthspan broadly encompasses various aspects of health and well-being, strengthspan is more narrowly focused on muscular strength and physical function. Healthy ageing includes building a reserve of muscular strength early in life, maintaining activity-induced gains in muscular strength throughout adulthood, and reducing the magnitude and rate of decline …

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  • X @afaigenbaum, @a_garciahermoso, @sportingjim

  • Contributors ADF and TRR conceptualised and drafted the initial version of the manuscript, with critical review provided by all authors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.