A recent study recommends ditching handshakes in favor of informal fist bumps to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. If you think that informal fist bumping instead of handshakes is discourteous, think again, you could be avoiding contracting a number of infectious diseases caused by bacteria and viruses.

The study which was done under the aegis of American Journal of Infection Control and it revealed that informal fist bumps in which two people briefly press the top of their closed fists together, transferred about 90 percent less bacteria than handshakes.

We often do not think about the health aspects of handshakes and if people can encourage going for the informal fist bumps instead of handshakes, there is a real possibility of reducing the chances of spreading infectious diseases.

The fist bump has got unexpected support from the most unlikely personalities, US President Barak Obama and Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama.

Participants of the study were given gloves which were coated with a film of non pathogenic E Coli bacteria. The participants were then asked to shake hands, high fived and fist bumped with fellow participants in sterile gloves. The amount of E Coli which was transferred to the sterile gloves was then examined.

High Five slaps transferred 50% bacteria as shaking hands. Shaking hands transmitted more bacteria than either High Five slaps or fist bumps. The latest research was prompted by increased awareness about workplace sanitation which has been characterized by an increase in use of hand sanitizers and keyboard disinfectants.

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