Don't shake hands! Fist bumps stop the spread of germs

CREATED Jul 30, 2014

  • Print

A study by the Aberystwyth University in Wales says your good, firm handshake could be spreading germs.

Researchers found that shaking hands transferred about ten times more germs than the fist bump, a less-traditional greeting that's slowly gaining popularity.
At least one medical professional is happy to see the fist bump gaining steam, too.
Dr. Donald Bucklin, Regional Medical Director for U.S. HealthWorks, believes it's a good idea to at least consider switching to the fist bump, in part because of how dirty your hands can be.
"You probably know just from working with your hands, if you get sweaty on your hands, that's on the palms. So they're always a little bit moist, and the oil your skin secretes traps a lot of bacteria, including MRSA and some really bad stuff," he said.
The solution, then, is to avoid as much hand-to-hand contact as possible, and the fist bump makes that easy.
"You're not doing much physical contact and you're doing relatively dry contact, and there's not much bacteria on the back of the hand compared to the palm," said Dr. Bucklin.
Of course, religious hand washing solves most of the problems associated with shaking hands, but if you do want to greet someone physically, the fist bump is by far the more sanitary option.