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This Spread Less Germs

By on July 28, 2014

You’ve seen brothers bumping fists together as a way to say ‘what’s up’ or a congratulatory gesture in the sports and rap worlds for many years.

Now researchers from Aberystwyth University in the UK say this kind of greeting is actually more hygienic than shaking hands. In fact, advocates say it should be used to prevent the spread of germs. The dap has gone mainstream.

Germs spread by fist bumps are 90% lower than by handshakes

In what The Washington Post called “the fist bump heard ’round the world,” President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle famously gave each other a congratulatory fist bump before he accepted the Democratic nomination in 2008. Remember that?

 Researchers from this latest study, led by Dr. Dave Whitworth, say shaking hands allows germs to move more freely between people, resulting in the spread of potentially contagious illness. Their results will be published in the August issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Results showed that the handshake transmitted the highest amount of the potentially disease-causing bacteria, while the high five reduced this amount by 50%. However, the germ transfer during the fist bump was 90% lower than during a handshake.


They were inspired to conduct their study in light of increased measures to promote cleanliness in the workplace – by using hand-sanitizers and keyboard disinfectants, for example.

Content for this article provided by The Washington Post, and Medicalnewstoday.com