News

Fist bumps relay 90 percent less germs than handshakes

Fist bumps relay 90 percent less germs than handshakes

President Barack Obama fist bumps the cashier after paying for his order at Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas on July 10, 2014. Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ditching handshakes in favor of more informal fist bumps could help cut down on the spread of bacteria and illnesses, according to a study released on Monday.

The study in the American Journal of Infection Control found that fist bumps, where two people briefly press the top of their closed fists together, transferred about 90 percent less bacteria than handshakes.

“People rarely think about the health implications of shaking hands,” Dave Whitworth, a biologist at Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom who co-authored the study, said in a statement.

“If the general public could be encouraged to fist bump, there is genuine potential to reduce the spread of infectious diseases,” he said.

The fist bump appears to enjoy the support of both U.S. President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama, both of whom have been seen enthusiastically using the greeting, the study notes.

The study used participants who wore gloves that had been thoroughly coated in a film of non-pathogenic E. coli bacteria. They then variously shook hands, high-fived and fist-bumped fellow participants in sterile gloves and the amount of transferred bacteria was examined.

High-five slaps transferred about half the amount of bacteria as shaking hands.

Handshakes relay more germs because they result in a larger area of contact between hands, but the strength and length of handshakes also play a role, the study found.

“Transmission is greater with increased duration and grip,” it said.

The research was prompted by an apparent increase in workplace cleanliness measures, including the growing use of hand sanitizers and keyboard disinfectants, the university said in a statement.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Eric Beech)

Recent Headlines

14 hours ago in Sports, Viral Videos

Watch Richard Sherman pick up unsuspecting passengers

20-overlay-14

The Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl winner takes a side gig as a driver for Lyft.

14 hours ago in Music

Deftones frontman forms new supergroup

deftoneschino43528400667

Chino Moreno has formed a new supergroup with members of Bad Brains and Cro-Mags.

15 hours ago in Weird

Cops: Fleeing man jumps into river, runs naked from hospital

doctors

Police say a Pittsburgh man driving a stolen car ditched the vehicle and jumped into a river to escape from authorities. Police say after being captured, he fled naked from a hospital and hid inside a Dumpster.

15 hours ago in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Annoying Windows reminder interrupts live TV

20-overlay-12

Please excuse this interruption ...

1 day ago in Sports, Weird

Shall I compare thee to a carburetor? Indy 500 gets a poet

indy500383817720211

An Indiana University student who is a poet and a performer has been named the Indianapolis 500's first official poet since the early 20th century.