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

in Music

Chris Hemsworth to play doc ‘haunted’ by Hank Williams

Fresh
hemsworth

The actor has optioned rights to Steve Earle's book "I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive," to produce and star in the adaptation.

in Music

George Hamilton IV dead at 77

Fresh
hamilto

Hamilton last performed at the Grand Ole Opry on Sept. 6, just days before his death.

in Entertainment

Nick Cannon’s $2M – yes, $2 million! – shoes

Fresh
cannon

The shoes hold more than 14,000 full-cut diamonds set in white gold with a weight of 340 carats.

in Entertainment

Joan Rivers leaves fortune to her dogs

Fresh
Joan-Rivers2

Oh, and some of it goes to her daughter too!

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: ‘Star Wars’ minus music

Fresh
12-overlay2

Without John Williams, the Throne Room would be a scene full of people creepily smiling at each other.