Fist bumps spread fewer germs than handshakes
New research has found that handshakes may spread more germs than other gestures that involve hand-to-hand contact, such as high fives or fist bumps.
Scientists at Aberystwyth University in Wales first coated a sterile rubber glove in E. coli by dipping it into a bacterial-broth. They then tested the degrees to which various hand maneuvers, including handshakes of different intensities, fist bumps and high fives spread the E. coli.
The researchers found that handshakes transferred the most bacteria. Compared to fist bumps, handshakes transferred 10 times more bacteria.
Researchers said that the findings, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, suggest that people may want to avoid handshakes during flu season or a flu pandemic. They added that people would benefit from consistently and thoroughly washing their hands after going to the bathroom in order to reduce the spread of bacteria.