Fist bumps are healthier than handshakes

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

fist bump
Nothing beats the fist bump when it comes to safely greeting someone without a transfer of germs. Then again, I bet bowing to someone would be better!

Germs can spread from breathing in the air when people sneeze and cough, but our hands can also pick up all kinds of bacteria from touching public surfaces like door handles or staircases. While we can wash our hands to remove disease-causing microscopic baddies, it might be considered rude to do so after shaking someone’s hand in a greeting! Well, you might want to consider fist bumping your next new friend, because the latest research finds that it’s much less likely to spread sickness.

Just how much healthier is a fist bump than a handshake? Researchers found that you’ll pick up only one-twentieth of the bacteria from a fist bump, making handshakes 20 times more filled with germs! Well, what about giving someone a high-five? That’s not such a bad option, either, since it spreads less than half the amount of germs as a handshake.

“Adoption of the fist bump as a greeting could substantially reduce the transmission of infectious diseases between individuals,” explains study author David Whitworth of Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom. “It is unlikely that a no-contact greeting could supplant the handshake; 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.” Whoa! That’s some fancy medical talk for fist bumping. Will we start seeing doctors and hospital workers busting out fist bumps and high-fives instead of handshakes?

Featured image courtesy of Panama Business and Investment on Flickr. Image of fist bump courtesy of Jason Santa Maria on Flickr.