Germophobes, Unite! Report Claims Shaking Hands as Dangerous as Smoking

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By Vicki Salemi Comment

handshakeIf you’re a germophobe, listen up. And if you’re not, you may become one after checking out this study.

Maybe it’s due to our background in human resources, but whenever we attended a job fair and shook, oh about 300 or more hands on a given day, there was always antibacterial soap in sight. Just think about all those germs!

Or how about on a smaller scale when you go on a job interview and shake at least four or five hands? That alone warrants some serious hand washing.

Per a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, doctors should stop shaking their patients’ hands because of the risk of spreading germs. So although it’s not exactly in a business context, it makes us think about how this study can be applied to all aspects of life including careers.

One of the co-authors revealed that shaking patients’ hands may be just as dangerous as smoking in public. His advice? Create handshake-free zones to protect vulnerable patients.

He added that only 40 percent of doctors wash their hands (we must pause with a collective sigh) and that alcohol-based gels to conveniently clean hands doesn’t end up killing most organisms anyway.

Per a segment on Fox, an internist in Manhattan mentioned that yes, not shaking hands can help prevent spreading diseases. Perhaps our society should switch to another way to meet and greet, he said, such as bowing or putting your hand over your heart.

What do you think? Should we switch to another way to officially greet and if so, what should it be?

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