Peer pressure and fear of the flu can boost hand hygiene: 6 survey findings

When others are present, people are more likely to wash their hands in a public restroom, according to the annual Healthy Hand Washing survey conducted by the Bradley Corporation.

The Bradley Corp. has manufactured commercial restroom and emergency safety products for nearly a century. For the hand-washing survey, the company queried 1,042 American adults online from Dec. 12 to Dec. 15. Respondents were asked about their hand-washing habits and their concerns regarding germs and the spread of viral infections like influenza.

Here are six key findings from the survey.

1. More than 50 percent of respondents said the presence of others in public restrooms either drives them to wash their hands longer than usual or wash them when they normally wouldn't.

2. Approximately 40 percent of participants admitted to being more likely to wash their hands after seeing signage instructing employees to wash before returning to work.

3. Seventy percent of respondents reported washing their hands more frequently or for extended periods of time after hearing about the spread of influenza.

4. More than 80 percent of participants reported either frequently or occasionally witnessing others leave the restroom without washing their hands.

5. Sixty-seven percent of Americans reported cutting corners during hand hygiene practices and only rinsing with water on occasion.

6. A majority of respondents reported hand-washing to be a must after sneezing or coughing (69 percent) and handling a sick child (58 percent).

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