“Fist-bumps, high-fives are more hygienic than handshakes”
A study in the American Journal of Infection Control proffers the suggestion that the fashionable “fist-bumps” are a more hygienic greeting than handshakes in the Twilight Zone of healthcare.
They’re even better than “high-fives.”
Mr. Dave Whitworth, PhD, of Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom, along with his student Ms. Sara Mela, apparently tested the infection potential of 3 greeting methods: handshakes, high-fives and fist-bumps. They did this by using surgical gloves dipped in a bacterial broth. Yummy. They found the highest cootie transfer happens during the prolonged contact of a handshake. The germ volume dropped by 50% for a high-five and by a whopping 90% for a fist-bump.
The researchers discovered that bacterial transfers increased with firm grip pressure.
In other words, even if we all start looking like weenies, we’d be a whole site healthier a society by giving – and receiving – wimpy handshakes.
“People rarely think about the health implications of shaking hands,” Whitworth said in a statement from the university. “If the general public could be encouraged to fist-bump, there is genuine potential to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.”
The research echoes a similar 2013 study that found bacterial transfer was four times higher among healthcare workers who shook hands than among those who used fist-bumps. Like Whitworth and Mela, the researchers attributed the increased risk to greater exposed surface area and longer contact time, FierceHealthcare previously reported.
However, some healthcare professionals argue that switching over from handshakes isn’t worth the potential cost to interpersonal interactions, especially since many of the risks associated with handshakes could be reduced with proper hand-washing protocol.
You heard it here and now you know. So time to knuckle down. Give those folks a hand. Be hip when you meet & greet. Mano a mano, amigos.
Kick those cooties to the curb.