Fist Bumps for Health

Next time you’re at the doctor’s office, don’t shake his hand. It’s filthy. Instead, fist bump.

According to a totally real study that we’re honesty not making up—it was published in in the Journal of Hospital Infection—fist bumping is better thank shaking hands in a hospital setting because it spreads fewer germs. For the study, a small group of participants with cleaned hands applied some bacteria and tested fist bumping versus hand shaking. Hand shaking, as it turns out, exposes three times the surface area of skin compared to fist bumps, and contact is about three times longer. Given that, it’s perhaps unsurprising that fist bumps spread fewer bacteria.

Of course, the study was focused on the hospital setting, where MRSA is a serious concern. That’s less true of day-to-day life; in fact, some people think that our obsession with all things germ-free has led to an increase in things like allergens. Realistically, you’re probably fine with just washing your hands. How long do you wash? Long enough to sing Happy Birthday. Actually, mumble it under your breath; it’s copyrighted, and people will think you’re crazy anyway.


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