BUSINESS
10/01/2014 12:06 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Let's Ban Handshakes At Work And Start Fist-Bumping

Winter is fast approaching, which means more sniffling, sneezing and coughing around the office.

A pretty sickening story in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday discussed in gross detail the speed at which germs spread in the office. The crux of it was that it only takes about four hours for a virus to spread to the hands of about half of the people in an office.

There are some obvious things you can do to avoid getting sick at work, like staying away from the communal coffee pot or using paper towels to avoid contact with door handles. But one incredibly easy thing to do this winter would be to ban handshakes in favor of fist-bumps.

According to a recent study, fist-bumps are way cleaner than handshakes and high-fives when it comes to spreading germs. That's because knocking knuckles means far less surface-area contact than squeezing together two sets of palms and fingers.

Banning handshakes is not a totally crazy idea. In fact, the Journal of the American Medical Association proposed banning the handshake in hospitals and doctors' offices and recommended trying a Namaste gesture instead.

If yoga-inspired greetings aren't your thing, you could also try bowing, like people do in Japan. Or touching shoulders, which is common among men in Ethiopia, according to NPR.

hand shake

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