It’s well established that handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infections, and has the real impact on millions of lives. In 2011, Europe was affected by dirty hands disease and food poisoning caused by E.coli bacteria. This group of ailments includes, for instance, hepatitis A (WZW A), staphylococcus, salmonella or cestoda. For the purposes of clean hands prophylaxis, UNICEF established Global Handwashing Day which occurs on 15 October of each year.
According to the global survey carried out on commission of Essity, producer of Tork brand, there is one surprising fact: washing your hands can actually affect feelings and behaviors of people in your closest surroundings.
Washing Your Hands Is Good For You
Washing your hands makes you feel more comfortable with others. Almost 50% of the surveyed emphasize that they attach great importance to hygiene of people with whom they shake hands. What’s more, the right hand hygiene can increase the sense of happiness and pleasure of others; 8 out of 10 surveyed claim that it has a positive impact on their well-being. Clean hands can influence company’s growth; 4 out of 10 employees working on a full-time basis claim that they would like other people to attach greater importance to hand hygiene at their workplace and 3 out of 10 surveyed would have greater satisfaction knowing that their coworkers wash their hands more carefully. It also has the real impact on sales increase. If a restaurant personnel respects the procedures concerning hand hygiene, over 50% of the surveyed are more willing to eat there again.
Our hands have the power to influence well-being of our relatives whereas washing hands – far-reaching consequences for people around us. This is something we should take into consideration every day, not only today, on Global Handwashing Day – says Wojciech Nizio, Regional Brand Activation Manager at Essity.
What Is The Reason Behind It?
The overwhelming majority of the surveyed (8 out of 10) wash their hands to stay healthy. Only 1 out of 10 claim that they do it for others. The external stimuli having impact on handwashing can turn out to be effective to improve some habits related to hand hygiene. Every fourth surveyed claims that they would wash their hands more often if they knew that it had a positive impact on others.
For whom do you take care of your hand hygiene? For yourself, for your family, or maybe for someone else? If we start to think about how our hands influence other people around us, we’ll soon be able to improve hand hygiene in the entire society. This is a huge power – says Wojciech Nizio.
Women Wash Their Hands More Often Than Men
Only a few people actually care about their hand hygiene in the right way. 3 out of 10 surveyed don’t wash their hands before meals, over 2 out of 10 people don’t do it before making meals and more than 1 out of 10 people don’t wash their hands after using toilet.1 Men are much worse – women wash their hands 30% more often than men.2
Washing your hands with soap for 20-30 seconds and drying them with paper towel is the key to maintain the right hand hygiene. This is a simple act but very crucial – says Wojciech Nizio.
Yet, women carry more bacteria on their hands than men. A female hand is much thinner which contributes to growth of microbes. The female, less sober, skin pH is preferred by bacteria.
To Improve Productivity
From the hygienic point of view, liquid soap is more effective in comparison to bar of soap which has some germs transformed to other people. While choosing between paper towels and dryers, it’s better to choose the first option as dryers warm up hands and thus bacterial flora develops very easily. Office workers are especially liable to bacteria and they should attach greater importance to the matter of hygiene. It’s estimated that there are even 400 times more bacteria on computer keyboard than on toilet seat.
Essity is a sponsor of Global Handwashing Day 2018, an international action organized by the Global Handwashing Partnership. It aims at increasing awareness about the importance of handwashing with soap. Global Handwashing Day is the right time to check if we take care of our hand hygiene properly.
The survey was conducted from July, 9, to August, 6, 2018, collecting answers from 3060 respondents from 6 different countries.
1 Essentials Initiative Survey 2018
2 Essentials Initiative Survey 2018