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A physical medicine and rehab physician from Denton, Dr. Marchetti remarks, “This has all of the qualities of an ideal medical intervention: it’s free, it’s safe and it can be done easily by everyone.”

The study cited, “The fist bump: A more hygienic alternative to the handshake,” was published in August 2014 in the American Journal of Infection Control. Researchers at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University in Ceredigion, UK, conducted a basic experiment looking at the transmittance of benign bacteria between hands. They looked at a “regular” as well as “strong” handshake then compared to a fist bump. Strong handshakes (firmer pressure, longer grip duration) had double the transmittance versus a regular handshake, while a fist bump (with low pressure, brief contact, less surface area) only had 25 percent the transmittance. Their conclusion: “For the sake of improving public health,” we should adopt this more hygienic alternative to the handshake.

A previous study, “Reducing pathogen transmission in a hospital setting. Handshake versus fist bump: a pilot study,” was published in 2013 in the Journal of Hospital Infection. Conducted at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, this study found that “as many as 80% of individuals retain some disease-causing bacteria after washing.” They also noted that the decreased surface area and contact time of a fist bump further reduced bacterial transmission compared to handshaking. Their conclusion was similar: “We have determined that implementing the fist bump in the healthcare setting may further reduce bacterial transmission between healthcare providers.”

While the spread of viral transmission has not been specifically studied, common sense would suggest that similar factors are at play with viruses (surface area, duration of contact, pressure) as far as transmittance factors. 

“The only barrier to widespread adoption is removing the cultural stigma of the fist-bump as uncouth. My aim with this campaign is to help reduce that stigma and to expose other medical providers to these data which they might not have come across otherwise,” says Dr. Marchetti.

“So far, in my own practice, I've been pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm of patients; even my little old ladies smile and offer me a fist-bump. I’ve printed flyers on 8.5 x 11 paper and put them in my exam rooms. Most patients notice them and even remind me to fist bump in cases where I’ve forgotten and went to offer a handshake. It’s been great!”

 Vertical

 Fist Bump 92 Vertical image

20" x 26"

11" x 17"

8.5" x 11"

Horizontal

Fist Bump 92 Horizontal image

26" x 20"

17" x 11"

11" x 8.5"

Vertical

FistBump Female Vertical 92x119

20" x 26"

11" x 17"

8.5" x 11"

Horizontal

 FistBump Fist Only1 119x92

26" x 20"

17" x 11"

11" x 8.5"

 

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Last Updated On

May 05, 2016

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