A recent report suggests that Americans are indeed washing their hands more frequently now, either because of the Swine Flu scare or because everyone finally decided to do what their mothers kept telling them to do.
It was found that there was a significant improvement in the numbers of people washing their hands in public restroom – whereas it was 77% in 2007, it is now 85%. Women continue to be more conscientious about this than men – while as many as 23% men skip the hand washing, only 7% of women tend to do this.
Those “little 20 seconds with friction, water and soap”, according to microbiologist Judy Daly of Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, are the best way to keep away illness.
The researchers looked at various different kinds of public restrooms to see how good or bad people were about washing up.
A telephone survey also asked people about their hand washing habits at home – whether people wash up after using the bathroom at home, after coughing or sneezing, and (we may not often think to do this, though clearly this is so important) handing money. People were also seen to be getting better at washing hands after changing a diaper.