The length of a woman's ring finger could be an easy way to tell if she has future sports potential, British researchers said on Thursday.
Researchers at King's College London conducted a study of 607 adult female twins in the U.K., comparing finger measurements with a woman's achievements in sports.
They found that women with ring fingers longer than their index fingers — a trait commonly seen in men — performed better at running and sports involving running, such as tennis and soccer.
In women, the ring finger is usually shorter than or the same length as the index finger, while the ring finger is usually longer in men.
The reasons for the finding were unclear, said Tim Spector, a professor atKing's College. However, Spector said that finger length is largely inherited.
Spector said no specific genes for finger length have been identified, and the trait probably involves multiple genes.
The ratio between the lengths of the two fingers is set before birth and remains constant throughout one's lifetime.
Previous studies on relative finger length have focused on men. They've found that the ratio of ring finger to index finger length could be associated with traits such as sexuality, musical ability, sperm count and disease vulnerability.