Digit ratio (2D:4D) and physical fitness (Eurofit test battery) in school children

R. Ranson, Gareth Stratton, S.R. Taylor

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    46 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Background: The relative lengths of the index finger to the ring finger (2D:4D) is sexually dimorphic and is thought to be a correlate of prenatal sex steroids (low 2D:4D = high prenatal testosterone and low prenatal oestrogen). In adults there have been reports that low 2D:4D is consistently associated with high sports performance. Aims: To investigate correlations between 2D:4D and fitness levels in children. Study design: Right 2D:4D and body size were measured, in addition to flexibility, speed, endurance and strength (Eurofit tests). Subjects: 922 boys and 835 girls (mean ages (years): 10.8 ± 1.01 and 10.07 ± 1.00 respectively). Outcome measures: height, mass, BMI, triceps and subscapular skinfolds, 20. m shuttle run, sit and reach, standing broad jump, hand grip strength, 10 × 5. m sprint, and the sit and reach test. Results: Boys significantly outperformed the girls in the 10 × 5 m sprints, the 20 m shuttle run, standing broad jump, and hand grip strength. In boys but not girls, 2D:4D was significantly negatively correlated with scores in all these tests except the standing broad jump. In girls but not boys, 2D:4D was significantly positively correlated to stature, mass, BMI and waist circumference. Conclusions: It is suggested that high prenatal testosterone and low prenatal oestrogen (low 2D:4D) is implicated in high sprinting speed, endurance and hand grip strength in boys. In girls low prenatal testosterone and high prenatal oestrogen is associated with large body size.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)327-331
    JournalEarly Human Development
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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