Skip the Handshake and Fist Bump Instead to Keep From Getting Sick

Indirect transfer via surfaces such as computer keyboards and door handles is a potential route of transmission for infectious diseases and efforts are made to control such transfer, particularly in hospitals.  However, direct contact between individuals has the potential for greater efficiency of pathogen transmission, and handshakes are known to transmit bacteria, including potential pathogens.  Nevertheless, some social/professional contexts place great value in the handshake and its quality.  Indeed, health professionals have been specifically encouraged to offer handshakes to meet patients’ expectations and to develop a rapport with them.

Source: The fist bump: A more hygienic alternative to the handshake

It’ll take a while for culture to accept this without thinking you’re desperate to look current. 😉

Why a Weak Handshake is Bad News For Your Heart

The strength of your handshake could indicate the chance of a future heart attack, a major study suggests.

Researchers found that the vigour of a person’s grip could predict the risk of heart attacks and strokes – and was a stronger indicator of death than checking systolic blood pressure.

The study in The Lancet, involving almost 140,000 adults in 17 countries, found weak grip strength was linked to shorter survival and a greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Source: Why a weak handshake is bad news for your heart

While I agree that an inexpensive, non-invasive test would be great… A percentage under 20% is not worth the effort of pursuing.

Humans Unconsciously Sniff Their Hands After Handshaking

You won’t believe you do it, but you do. After shaking hands with someone, you’ll lift your hands to your face and take a deep sniff. This newly discovered behaviour – revealed by covert filming – suggests that much like other mammals, humans use bodily smells to convey information.

Source: After handshakes, we sniff people’s scent on our hand

Sample size was 153 people!   See for yourself:

Thank you, science, for ruining every future handshake I’ll have to make.  And a handshake is regarded as a disease vector – there has been suggestion that the “fist bump” is more hygienic because the back of the hand doesn’t come into contact with bacteria as much, and is less likely to support bacteria once transferred between people.