How's your form? 95% of people have been washing their hands incorrectly

Have you been washing your hands wrong your entire life?

A surveillance study conducted by researchers at Michigan State University discovered that 95% of people may actually be washing their hands incorrectly. Of 3,749 people observed leaving the bathrooms, 66.9 percent used soap, while 10.3 percent didn't wash their hands at all. The other 23 percent of people stopped at wetting their hands, in what the researchers, for some reason call "attempted washing" (as if maybe those people just weren't sure how to follow through).

The average time spent washing hands with soap was 6 seconds, with only 5.3% spending longer than 15 seconds. That’s some inadequate hand washing!

So how exactly should you wash your hands?

Here is a 5 step procedure as recommended by Hand Hygiene Australia:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. 
  4. Rinse your hands well under running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel, paper or air dry them.

When should you wash your hands?

  • When hands are visibly dirty
  • Before you eat
  • Before you prepare food items
  • After touching raw meats like chicken or beef
  • After contact with any body fluids like blood, urine or vomit
  • After changing infant or adult nappies
  • After touching animals or pets
  • After blowing your nose or sneezing
  • After going to the toilet

If you'd like more info, visit Hand Hygiene Australia's website.

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