- Goodbye Handshake, Hello Fist Bump!
October 28, 2010 — According to a recent survey commissioned by PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer, two in five American adults (nearly 92 million people) have hesitated to shake hands with someone because they were afraid of germs. What's more, 55 percent of Americans would rather touch a public toilet seat than shake someone's hand after they've coughed or sneezed into it.
Recent reports reveal that public hand washing is improving, but there isn't always a sink in the boardroom, on the playground or in the grocery store where people are greeting one another and shaking hands. With three in five (61 percent) Americans agreeing they would be less hesitant to shake hands if they had a bottle of hand sanitizer, there is still hope for this time-honored social institution.
Goodbye Handshake, Hello Fist Bump
- Today, 4 in 5 Americans agree, people are shaking hands less frequently than they did 25 years ago.
- What's more, roughly half of Americans (49 percent) have chosen the fist bump over a classic handshake, for reasons including fear of germs (15 percent), sweaty palms (13 percent) and dry hands (6 percent).
Mom Always Said Manners Matter
- About three in four (76 percent) American adults learned how to shake hands from a family member.
- A majority of parents (74 percent) believe their child should learn how to properly shake hands when or before they start school.
- However, one in four parents (25 percent) have actually encouraged their child not to give a handshake. Of these, 68 percent said it was because of germs.
- Half of American adults living on the East Coast (50 percent) have hesitated to give a handshake due to fear of germs. However, those on the West Coast are the least concerned with passing germs—only 35 percent have hesitated to shake hands.
- Southerners, known for their hospitality, traditions and manners, average about eight handshakes a week. That's two more than the national average of six handshakes a week.
- Eastern states are leading the country in fist bumps, averaging three fist bumps a week—that's 50 percent more than the national average (two fist bumps).
There are more than 59 million American adults who identify themselves as a germaphobe—that's more than a quarter (26 percent) of Americans!
- Women are more likely than men to admit fear of germs (30 percent and 21 percent respectively).
- Younger Americans are more likely to identify themselves as germaphobes—42 percent of Millennials versus 27 percent of Generation X and 21 percent of Boomers.
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