Introductions usually start off with a handshake. But little did you know that you would actually be better off kissing them hello!
Scientific studies have found that you are more likely to pass germs through a handshake rather than a kiss. People’s hands touch way more than their lips, so they are exposed to many more germs. Think of yourself going through a normal day. You open your door, you touch bathroom stalls, you touch your keyboard, your phone, your hair, your face, other people, etc. After touching different objects and people, there are millions of germs that build up on your hands, so when you give a handshake that is two hands touching, both with numerous amounts of germs, so when you touch you are then spreading bacteria leading to common colds and illnesses. Most people are not going to kiss each other if one of them is sick, but people continue to shake people’s hands even when they are sick.
When two people kiss each other they are sharing millions of bacteria. In fact, even in a quick 10 second kiss, there are 80 million bacteria are transferred between the two mouths, pretty unsanitary right.
The most common greeting is a handshake, but what researchers have found that giving a high five instead of a shake is 20 times less more likely to spread bacteria. Interestingly enough hugging a sick person is even less likely to share germs than giving someone a handshake. Not only does hugging provide less access to germs, it also has immune-protective benefits, including reducing the levels of stress and blood pressure in your body.
Britain’s leading flu expert, Prof John Oxford, and a virologist at Barts hospital and the London School of Medicine has concluded that greeting someone with a kiss would cut down the spread of infections. After experiencing and determining the amount of bacteria being spread between people, they found that the best and safest way to greet someone is by kissing not their mouth but their cheek. They even provided information on whether people would want to kiss the left or the right. Social expert, Liz Brewer, stated that kissing the right cheek symbolizes more of a heart to heart greet, whereas kissing the left cheek is more of a friendly kiss.
After reading all of the research on the germs that spread from handshaking, it really makes me rethink the best way to greet people. Although, kissing people I am meeting for the first time just doesn’t sound like the right kind of greet.