18 October 2019

An introduction to the human hand 2

The human hand is made up of 29 bones which are connected by 29 joints. While fingers are controlled by 34 different muscles, none of these are in the fingers themselves but in the palm and forearm. Your fingers and much of your hands are actually ligaments - there are 123 within the human hand. From playing the piano to building palaces, our hands can seemingly achieve anything given the right tools. Yet it is not just their ability to use equipment that makes them special, but also the sense of touch. This comes from the hand’s 48 nerves. Amazingly, the skin on our hands is sensitive enough to be able to tell the difference between hot and cold, dry and wet, soft and hard, and so on, while at the same time thick enough to offer grip and some protection from outside elements.

average hand sizes

GIVE PROTECTIVE SKIN A HAND

Hands are one of our most valuable physical assets. If you have ever been unable to use your hands through injury or ailment, you will know how difficult even the most mundane tasks can be without them. That is why it is so important to protect your hands. Keeping them safe from harm is key to ensuring you will be able to use your hands in the way you want - throughout your life. When carrying out work that has the potential to damage your hands, it is important to adopt a measured approach in order to evaluate and understand the risk involved. What is being handled? Is it abrasive? Does it have a sharp or rough edge? Is it slippery? Will I come into contact with any liquids – chemicals, oils, greases, detergents, water etc.? Does the task environment expose my hands to other risks? These are all important factors in selecting the appropriate gloves for the task.

Hand template

IF THE GLOVE FITS

When looking for gloves, make sure they fit properly as hands are a variety of shapes and sizes. The average size of a man’s hand is 18.9cm (7.4 inches) long and 8.4cm (3.3 inches) wide, while a woman’s is 17.2cm (6.7 inches) by 7.4cm (2.9 inches). Interestingly, the world’s largest ever human hands belonged to the tallest man in history, Robert Wadlow. Wadlow, who stood at 2.72m (8 feet 1 inch), had hands that were 320mm (12.75 inches) long! After wearing gloves it is a good idea to apply hypoallergenic moisturiser to your hands as some of the essential oils in your skins can be removed when doing manual tasks.

A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR HANDS

As you can seen hands are complex and we would find life very difficult without them, so, remember to look after your hands! 

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