Digit ratio (2D:4D) comparison between competitive age group swimmers and non-athletes

Authors: Erkan Günay1, Funda Aksu2, Aksel Çelik1, Mete Edizer2, Nuket Göçmen Mas2

Affiliation: 1 Dokuz Eylül University, Sports Science and Technology School, Izmir, Turkey

    2 Department of Anatomy, Dokuz Eylül University, Faculty of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey


Background. The ratio of the second to the fourth digit length (2D:4D) could have an important role in sport performance.

Aims. The aim of the study was to determine the 2D:4D ratio in age group swimmers and to compare them with non-athletes of both genders.

Methods. 30 female and 35 male age group swimmers and 34 females and 40 male non-athlete volunteers participated in the study. Non-athletic volunteers were selected from the healthy volunteer subjects without sport activities. The lengths of the index and ring fingers of both hands from the proximal bend of the metacarpophalangeal joint up to the fingertips were measured with digital calipers, and the index-ring finger ratio was determined. The height, weight and body mass index of the age group swimmers and non-athlete volunteers were evaluated. Results were processed with SPSS 20.0.

Results. There were significant differences between the age group swimmers and the non-athlete volunteers in terms of the right-hand finger ratio. When the right-hand finger ratio of the female swimmer and non-athlete groups were compared, statistically significant differences were found between the groups.

Conclusion. Right hand 2D:4D ratio was an important indicator of success for swimming performance (especially short distance sprint performance). This could be used as an additional criterion for talent identification in female swimmers.

Keywords: digit ratio, swimming, age group swimmers, talent identification.


Digit ratio (2D:4D) comparison between competitive age group swimmers and non-athletes