Why Wimpy Handshake Is Good for You

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 31, 2014 12:50 AM GMT
    30well-shake-tmagArticle.jpg

    NYT: Weak handshakes are often frowned upon, but they may be healthier than firm ones. A fist bump, though, may be an even healthier choice.

    British researchers did a simple experiment. After dipping a gloved hand into a dense culture of Escherichia coli, a bacterium commonly found in human intestines, an experimenter shook hands, bumped fists or high-fived with a person wearing a sterile glove. They repeated the tests several times and analyzed the gloves for transmission of germs. The results were published in the August issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

    About twice as many bacteria were transferred to the clean glove with a handshake as with a high-five, and the fist bump consistently produced the lowest transmission of all.

    They then did the fist bump and high-five tests with three more seconds of contact, and tested various pressures and durations for the handshake. Prolonging the high-five had little effect, but making the fist bump three seconds longer significantly increased the transfer of bacteria. A strong handshake (as measured with a dynamometer) was especially effective, moving germs hand to hand in almost twice the quantities of a moderate handshake.

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/the-upside-of-a-wimpy-handshake/?_php=true&_type=blogs&ref=health&_r=0
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    Jul 31, 2014 1:34 AM GMT
    I take it a step further if I know I've had a cold or if somebody else has been ill.

    The elbow bump.

    I usually precede this with a brief and upbeat explanation why along the lines of:
    "I'd shake your hand, but there's a bug going around. How about an elbow bump?"

    People are usually responsive and appreciative.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4863

    Jul 31, 2014 7:51 PM GMT
    Does it really matter? Does cutting the number of germs in half really significantly reduce the probably consequences of acquiring an infection? If 100,000 germs are required to produce an infection would it really be more serious to have 200,000 germs?
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    Jul 31, 2014 10:56 PM GMT
    Eh, I'd still rather shake hands with someone (unless before hand I know they are sick or they tell me otherwise)than doing a fist bump. Something just rubs me the wrong way with those...
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    Jul 31, 2014 11:25 PM GMT
    The next time someone expects to shake your hand (professionally, a social meeting, or whatever), just let them know you have a germ phobia and see the reaction you get.icon_question.gifxicon_surprised.gif
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    Aug 02, 2014 7:06 AM GMT
    wesbjack saidThe next time someone expects to shake your hand (professionally, a social meeting, or whatever), just let them know you have a germ phobia and see the reaction you get.icon_question.gifxicon_surprised.gif

    You could tell them that you have a cold, and don't want to give it to them.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4863

    Aug 02, 2014 7:34 PM GMT
    HikerSkier said
    wesbjack saidThe next time someone expects to shake your hand (professionally, a social meeting, or whatever), just let them know you have a germ phobia and see the reaction you get.icon_question.gifxicon_surprised.gif

    YOU could tell them that you have a cold, and don't want to give it to them.


    Or tell them that you are part Japanese and prefer to bow.
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Aug 02, 2014 10:12 PM GMT
    Why doesn't everyone just wash their damn hands? icon_confused.gif
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    Aug 03, 2014 11:48 AM GMT
    woodsmen said30well-shake-tmagArticle.jpg

    NYT: Weak handshakes are often frowned upon, but they may be healthier than firm ones. A fist bump, though, may be an even healthier choice.

    British researchers did a simple experiment. After dipping a gloved hand into a dense culture of Escherichia coli, a bacterium commonly found in human intestines, an experimenter shook hands, bumped fists or high-fived with a person wearing a sterile glove. They repeated the tests several times and analyzed the gloves for transmission of germs. The results were published in the August issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

    About twice as many bacteria were transferred to the clean glove with a handshake as with a high-five, and the fist bump consistently produced the lowest transmission of all.

    They then did the fist bump and high-five tests with three more seconds of contact, and tested various pressures and durations for the handshake. Prolonging the high-five had little effect, but making the fist bump three seconds longer significantly increased the transfer of bacteria. A strong handshake (as measured with a dynamometer) was especially effective, moving germs hand to hand in almost twice the quantities of a moderate handshake.

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/the-upside-of-a-wimpy-handshake/?_php=true&_type=blogs&ref=health&_r=0


    This article is about transmission rates of E. coli depending on types of hand contact, and yet the headline makes the simplistic leap of 'a wimpy handshake is good for you'.

    No, not touching your eyes and mouth with your hands is good for you. Shake on, firm handshakers.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 03, 2014 2:42 PM GMT
    Bunjamon saidWhy doesn't everyone just wash their damn hands? icon_confused.gif


    lol

    Agreed
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 03, 2014 4:59 PM GMT
    GAMRican saidI take it a step further if I know I've had a cold or if somebody else has been ill.

    The elbow bump.

    I usually precede this with a brief and upbeat explanation why along the lines of:
    "I'd shake your hand, but there's a bug going around. How about an elbow bump?"

    People are usually responsive and appreciative.


    I would not do this, since a clean "save" when sneezing is to sneeze into your elbow or upper arm area.
  • frogman89

    Posts: 418

    Aug 03, 2014 5:07 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    FRE0 saidDoes it really matter? Does cutting the number of germs in half really significantly reduce the probably consequences of acquiring an infection? If 100,000 germs are required to produce an infection would it really be more serious to have 200,000 germs?


    ^
    Well put.

    Also, doesn't hurt to have some pocket sized hand sanitizer to kill those germs after having contact with other people.

    Actually it can make a difference. Some germs are only infectious and/or cause a disease with a certain population. It's called infectious dosis. And it varies from germ to germ.
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    Aug 04, 2014 2:09 PM GMT
    The assumption that the greater the number of bacteria transmitted, the greater the chance of acquiring an infection is faulty. There's many other factors involved(i.e. a threshold # of bacteria required for infection, person's immune status, etc.).
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Aug 04, 2014 3:11 PM GMT
    If someone won't shake my hand, unless they specifically say THEY have a bug, I'll consider them rude and not worth my time, that the person is odd and paranoid. In Western culture at least.
  • mindblank

    Posts: 275

    Aug 04, 2014 7:30 PM GMT
    So called 'strong' handshakes that involve excessive squeezing and twisting are rude and invasive and show a complete lack of concern and lack of respect for the recipient.
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    Aug 06, 2014 2:53 PM GMT
    In this case, the good ol' "bow" in Japan works just fine.