Why Fist Bumps Trump Handshakes
Handshakes spread 20 times more germs, study says
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2014 1:39 AM CDT
This image provided by Prifysgol Aberystwyth University shows powder transferred in a handshake, illustrating the possible transfer of bacteria.   (AP Photo/Prifysgol Aberystwyth University)

(Newser) – A good, firm handshake is a great way to spread germs, according to researchers who say infections could be reduced if people adopted fist bumps instead. The researchers dipped gloved hands in bacteria and then shook hands with, high-fived, or fist-bumped sterile-gloved counterparts, the Los Angeles Times reports. They found that handshakes spread 20 times more bacteria than fist bumps, while high-fives passed along about half as many germs as handshakes.

Part of the reasons handshakes spread so many more germs is because there's much more surface area meeting between hands, according to the researchers, who carried out their study after the Journal of the American Medical Association called for handshakes to be banned in health care settings, CBS reports. "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," especially during cold and flu season, the researchers concluded.

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Showing 3 of 30 comments
StationaryMan
Jul 29, 2014 12:24 PM CDT
In David Whitworth's next study he will once and for all prove that running into a concrete wall headfirst hurts.
$115803099
Jul 29, 2014 9:58 AM CDT
Fist bumps, invented by the blacks.
Lou Bernardo
Jul 29, 2014 9:43 AM CDT
Sometimes I get the feeling we're living in a world filled with adults with a child's mentality.