Fist Bumps Are Way Better Than Handshakes, Scientists Confirm

Don't want to get sick from someone's gross fingers? A fist bump transmits 90% fewer germs, according to new research.

You ever see a guy leave the bathroom without washing his hands? Happens all the time. You know not to touch his filthy mitts. But you can’t monitor everybody’s hygiene habits. And then you innocently, naively exchange an expected physical social greeting and go to the hospital and the doctor’s all, “Sorry, but antibiotics don’t work anymore. Goodbye.”

The good news is that society can avoid the MRSA apocalypse by swapping a firm handshake for a firm fist bump. A study recently published by the American Journal of Infection Control found that knuckle-knocking transfers only a tenth the bacteria of palming.

“People rarely think about the health implications of shaking hands,” said the study’s co-author Dr. Dave Whitworth. “If the general public could be encouraged to fist bump, there is genuine potential to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.”

To conduct the study, researchers had people shake, high-five and fist bump while wearing “gloves that had been thoroughly coated in a film of non-pathogenic E. coli bacteria,” Reuters reports. Because handshakes and high-fives require more surface skin contact, they’re more like to get poop all over your fingers and then probably in your mouth.

Friends don’t let friends shake hands. The life you save may be your own…

Writer/Editor at MTV News. Author of "The Heming Way" and "'90s Island."
@martybeckerman