A firm handshake and brisk walk could be indicators of a longer life expectancy, it was claimed today.
Scientists analysed the results of 33 studies into the link between ability to carry out simple physical tasks and age of death.
They found people who performed better at tasks including gripping, walking, rising from a chair and balancing on one leg tended to live to a riper age.
Tens of thousands of men and women across the globe took part in the studies, some of which followed participants for 43 years.
It was found that those with the strongest hand grasps tended to live longer than those with feeble ones.
This was the case even after age, sex and body size was taken into account.
Likewise slow walkers were found to have a greater risk of an earlier death compared to those with a brisk stride.
Most of the studies, published today in the British Medical Journal, were carried out on older people.