When meeting someone for the first time, you shake hands.

Perhaps as a standard greeting to minimise any social awkwardness, or maybe to seal a deal.

According to researchers, the handshake may offer genuine insights into an individual’s future.

Published in medical journal PLOS ONE, new research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis reveals an individual’s ‘strength of grip’ can reveal how quickly they are aging, how well-educated they are, and may even offer insights into their future health.

Reviewing more than 50 international studies, the research shows the grip strength of a highly educated 69 year old, on average, is the same as that of a less educated 65 year old, suggesting those who are less educated age more quickly.

Research co-author from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Sergei Scherbov explains, “According to hand grip strength, people with high education… feel several years younger compared to people with lower education.”

Delving slightly deeper, the researchers examined studies focusing on mortality and morbidity rates among Swedish adolescent males.

When applying for military service, the young male’s handgrip strength was measured as part of an entrance exam.

Results found those with lower handgrip strength were significantly more likely to die earlier, have heart disease, be at higher risk of suicide and experience psychological problems.

Study authors reported, “Low handgrip strength has been shown definitively to predict poor outcomes in a wide variety of mortality, morbidity, and other health outcomes.”

So next time you shake someone’s hand, you might catch a glimpse of their future.