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Why Science Supports the Fist Bump

When it comes to staying clean, bumping is better than shaking.

By Caleb OBrien
Feb 26, 2015 6:00 AMNov 12, 2019 6:00 AM
John T. Takai/Shutterstock


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A fist bump might not be as professional as a handshake, but at least it’s cleaner.

Biologists at Wales’ Aberystwyth University coated rubber gloves with nonpathogenic E. coli, then exchanged greetings with sterile-gloved researchers.

They found that fist bumps transferred only about one-tenth of the amount of bacteria as handshakes did. Even high-fives were half as germy as a more traditional clasp.

So the next time someone offers you a hand, just say, “Pound it.”

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