90% Fewer Germs Transmitted
Public health officials warn us each year during cold and flu season that the leading form of germ transmission is through shaking hands. But a new study reported in the American Journal of Infection Control discovered that two handshake alternatives, the high five and the fist bump, transmit far less illness-causing bacteria. Specifically, high fives, with palms slapping palms, cut the transmission rate in half, and fist-bumps, with knuckles touching knuckles, reduce it by a whopping 90 percent. The three key transmission factors turn out to be the area of skin involved and the strength and duration of the contact; the firmer the grip and the more drawn out the handshake, for example, the more bacteria are transferred. Among celebrity fist-bumpers: Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama.