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Fist Bumps Reduce Bacteria Transmitted by 90% Compared to Shaking Hands

Fist Bumps Reduce Bacteria Transmitted by 90% Compared to Shaking Hands

Written by Lloyd Alter

Remember back in 2008 when Barack and Michelle did what Fox News called a “terrorist fist jab”? It turns out they were on to something. According to BBC News, Scientists at Aberystwyth University in Wales studied the transfer of germs during various forms of greetings, and found that the fist bump is a whole lot more sanitary than shaking hands.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, showed a handshake transferred 10 times as many bacteria as a meeting of fists, while a palm-to-palm high-five was somewhere in-between.

In the Telegraph, Dr. Dave Whitworth explained the importance of the study.

People rarely think about the health implications of shaking hands. But if the general public could be encouraged to fist bump, there is a genuine potential to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. When there’s flu going round or coughs and colds, definitely if you want to touch someone as a greeting a fist bump is much better than a handshake. It potentially could have a significant impact on reducing flu when there is an epidemic.

Or, one could just go Japanese and do a polite bow. It makes a lot more sense than shaking hands when you don’t know where that hand has been. A decade ago, when the SARS epidemic terrorized Toronto where I live, a lot of people refused to shake hands and just did a polite wave. Not a bad plan.

This post originally appeared on TreeHugger

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Photo Credit: Clare via Flickr

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1:20AM PDT on Aug 7, 2014


9:55AM PDT on Aug 6, 2014

This is too funny--thanks

10:53AM PDT on Aug 5, 2014

interesting, thanks

1:19PM PDT on Aug 3, 2014

What will be next?

3:58AM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

Thank you.

6:44PM PDT on Aug 1, 2014


12:33PM PDT on Aug 1, 2014


10:15PM PDT on Jul 31, 2014


6:36PM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

why not?

4:20PM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

They are such a cool couple...

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