A new study in the American Journal of Infection Control performed clinical trials to determine what kinds of greeting would transmit fewer germs than the good ol' handshake. Turns out, Obama has the right idea.
U.S. Embassy New Delhi/Flickr Commons
The study, which took place at the Institute of Biological, Environmental, and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom went like this: a greeter immersed a sterile-gloved hand into a container of germs. When the glove dried, the greeter exchanged a handshake, high-five or fist bump with another sterile-gloved recipient. Then, the receiving gloves were immersed in a solution to count the number bacteria transferred during contact.
And get this: The handshake transferred twice as many bacteria compared to the high-five. The winner? The fist bump transferred the least germs.
What did the scientists conclude? “Adoption of the fist bump as a greeting could substantially reduce the transmission of infectious diseases between individuals,” said corresponding author, David Whitworth, PhD.
In conclusion, stick with a fist bump during cold and flu season or at least wash your hands after socializing or a big meeting at work.