Tired of wheezing, sneezing and coughing your way through cold season? A fist bump transfers only 5% of the bacteria of a handshake, and a high five transfers about 50%. Or at least so says a study published 7/28/14 online in the American Journal of Infection Control authored by David Whitworth of Aberystwyth University in Wales. The main cause for the lower transfer is the lower surface area in contact; I would also suspect that it is because we do not grasp things with our knuckles!

I’ve got a friend who is a committed 365 days a year “fist bumper” and he swears that the health benefits are significant. I will admit that in high contact social situations where you are meeting lots of new people (i.e. conferences and networking receptions) it can be easy to revert; I tend to be religious about it during flu season, less so at other times. However the fist bump is gaining popularity (heck, the President did it on tv) and perhaps as the health benefits become more widely known/accepted we might all start doing it!

Closing Quotes

“In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Unknown 

“Health is not valued until sickness comes.” Thomas Fuller, 1608 – 1661, English historian & churchman

“When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no ‘I’ll start tomorrow.’ Tomorrow is disease.” Terri Guillemets,  quotation anthologist, b. 1973

“Half the modern drugs could well be thrown out the window, except that the birds might eat them.” – Martin H. Fischer, 1879-1962, physician, author