Study Reveals Poor Hand Washing Practices
Despite awareness of growing infections, a recent study found that just 1 in 20 Americans properly wash their hands after using a restroom.
“It’s horrifying,” said Carl Borchgrevink, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of hospitality business at Michigan State University.
The study revealed that men ranked particularly low when it came to washing hands correctly. In fact, 15 percent of those using the restroom failed to wash up at all, compared to only 7 percent of women. But, even when restroom patrons did wash their hands, only 50 percent of men bothered to use soap, compared to 78 percent of the women surveyed.
“Maybe some men don’t like being told what to do or they feel they’re invincible or they think it’s unnecessary,” said Borchgrevink.
For he study, which was published by the Journal of Environmental Health, researchers observed 3,749 people washing their hands in public restrooms at bars, restaurants and other public establishments.
In addition to whether or not restroom patrons washed up, the study analyzed hand washing techniques. Studies revealed that those people who are only washing their hands are only doing so for an average of about six seconds. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it takes 15 to 20 seconds of vigorous washing with soap to properly and effectively remove germs.
Proper washing is the most effective strategy to stop the spread of infectious diseases, public health officials say. Falling short of this task contributes to nearly 50 percent of all foodborne illness outbreaks, according to the CDC.
The good news: It appears that signs reminding people to wash their hands were effective.
Click here to read this full study.
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