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Home Personal Health Stay Healthy By Fist Bumping, Not Shaking Hands

Stay Healthy By Fist Bumping, Not Shaking Hands

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Ditch the handshake and the germs- introduce yourself with a friendly fist bump.

No longer do we high-five or shake hands in greeting, and according to a recent study that's probably a good thing. Besides being a playful, fun way to say hey to our buddies, a fist bump transmits just one-twentieth the amount of bacteria that a handshake does. 

Fist Bumping Is Healthier Than Classic Forms of Greeting

The fist bumping study was published in the American Journal of Infection Control. The researchers set up an experience where a sterile-gloved was immersed into a container of germs and the greeter exchanged a handshake, fist bump and a high-five with a sterile-gloved recipient. They then viewed the number of germs per greeting, and found fist bumping is the healthiest option for saying "hey" to a friend.

"It is unlikely that a no-contact greeting could supplant the handshake," said study author David Whitworth of Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom. "However, for the sake of improving public health we encourage further adoption of the fist bump as a simple, free, and more hygienic alternative to the handshake.”

Additionally, the study looked at different types of handshakes. The researchers found that stronger handshakes spread more germs than moderate handshakes. The germ exchange happens when the surface areas of hands touch each other. The bigger the area and the longer it's in contact, the more germs that spread.

Fist bumps have recently become ingrained into our culture. One of the most memorable, and oftened refered to "the fist bump heard 'round the world" occurred on June 3, 2008, when Barrack Obama and wife Michelle fist bumped on TV during a presidential campaign speech in Minnesota. Their exchange was adorable and 20 times more hygienic than a handshake.

The next time you have the option to go for a handshake or a high five, switch it to a fist bump to say hi and stay healthy.

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