Volume 29 (2017) Issue 11 Pages 1914-1919
[Purpose] The fingernails allow for increased sensory perception at the finger pulp, and contribute to the accurate picking up of small objects. The purpose of the present study was to clarify the effect of fingernail length on hand dexterity using subjects’ own fingernails. [Subjects and Methods] The hand sizes and fingernail configurations of 38 young healthy volunteers (eighteen males and twenty females) were measured. The effect of fingernail length (0 and 2 mm) on hand dexterity also was investigated using the simple test for evaluating hand function. [Results] The hand and finger sizes as well as fingernail widths were significantly larger in males than in females. The time taken for each subtest of the simple test for evaluating hand function was generally shorter at a fingernail length of 2 mm than at 0 mm, and it was significantly shorter for a number of subtests. There was little significant difference in the time taken for the subtests between genders. [Conclusion] It was clear that a fingernail length of 2 mm had an advantageous effect on hand dexterity, with little gender difference observed. These findings suggest that the fingernail lengths of the subjects should be standardized when evaluating changes in their hand dexterity with time.