A New Study Says Wash Your Hands
A recent study of hand-washing habits found only 5 percent of people washed their hands correctly after using the restroom…and this is the least-disturbing of all the findings.
- People generally only wash their hands for 6 seconds
- Thirty-three percent didn’t use soap
- 10 percent didn’t wash their hands at all
- Men were less likely than women to clean their hands
- Fifteen percent of men and 7 percent of women didn’t wash their hands at all. When they did wash their hands, only 50 percent of men used soap, compared with 78 percent of women.
- People were less likely to wash their hands if the sink was dirty
- People were more likely to wash their hands earlier in the day
- People were more likely to wash their hands if they saw a sign encouraging them to do so
Hand washing is the single most effective thing a person can do to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Failure to sufficiently wash hands contributes to nearly 50 percent of all foodborne illness outbreaks, particularly via fecal contamination, the agency says.
It takes 15 to 20 seconds of vigorous hand washing with soap and warm water to effectively kill germs, the CDC says.