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Could fist bumping halt the spread of germs?


While coughs and sneezes spread diseases, fist bumps could save the day.



You’ve seen Usain Bolt bump fists with a volunteer at the Commonwealth Games, and President Barack Obama knock knuckles with his wife during the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

It’s made it official – fist bumping is much cooler than a fusty old handshake.

Although it might seem too informal for some, bashing fists also has one major advantage over the common-garden handshake – it’s far more hygienic.

According to research from Aberystwyth University in Wales, a firm handshake will transfer 10 times more bacteria than a light fist bump.

These facts were uncovered when two researchers, wearing hygienic gloves, dipped their hands in E coli and practised various traditional methods of greeting, measuring the bacteria transferred from each.

A senior lecturer at the university, Dr Whitworth, has said that the fist bump is more hygienic due to its speed and smaller contact area.

He continued, “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.”

Whitworth has even claimed that doctors should phase out handshaking with patients altogether, stating that, while it’s an effective way to instil confidence, it’s also guaranteed to increase illness.

Whether you’re fist bumping, high fiving, hugging or handshaking, be sure you’re staying hygienic with antibacterial soap and boiling hot water for digits that won’t spread bacteria.