(NBC News) — New research is saying the next time you meet someone, there might be safer ways of greeting than the traditional handshake.
Researchers from the Aberystwyth University in Wales are saying the “fist bump” may be more hygienic than handshakes when doctors greet their patients.
The new study finds the handshake transmits double the amount of bacteria that a high-five would — and the fist bump even fewer than that.
The researchers say the smaller amount of surface area in contact between the two hands makes it more sanitary.
Some experts, however, are saying the best approach might be a bit more hands-off.
“Rather than replace the handshake with something else that has contact, probably the better approach to keep patients safe is really not to do it at all,” said Dr. Mary Lou Manning.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates one in 25 hospitalized patients develop a health care-associated infection each year.