Our hands are the most common way germs are spread. Imagine if you had germy green goo on your hands and could see how it spread to your clothes, your computer, door handles, light switches and more. Would you change any of your hand washing habits?
If you need more convincing, here are five fun (and gross!) facts you might not know about hand hygiene:
- The most important times for hand washing are before preparing food and after going to the bathroom. Only 20 percent of people wash their hands before preparing food. And fewer than 75 percent of women and 50 percent of men wash their hands after going to the bathroom. Yuck!
- Most bacteria on our hands is on our fingertips and under our nails. The average person spends less than 10 seconds washing their hands. They often clean their palms and miss everything else. For every 15 seconds we spend washing our hands, 10 times more bacteria is removed.
- The bacteria count is highest on our dominant hand. Yet right-handed people wash their left hand more thoroughly than their right hand, and vice versa.
- Hand washing is proven to reduce absences, sick days and lost productivity. A study of Detroit school children showed that those who washed their hands had 24 percent fewer sick days due to colds and 51 percent fewer sick days due to upset stomachs.
- Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer does not cause antibiotic resistance. They kill germs in a different way than antibiotics, so there is no chance for germs to adapt or develop resistance.
Keeping our hands clean at work and at home is one of the best steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. But if you or your family do end up with a nasty bug, our clinics are here to help.