Should you shake hands at graduation?

University staff living on the edge?

Topical issue this in graduation season. A researcher at Johns Hopkins University has been studying the health risks associated with shaking hands at graduation:

Bishai got the idea for the project after years of attending the Bloomberg School’s graduations and wondering what would be growing on the dean’s hand at the end of the day. His interest was piqued when he learned that some officials at Johns Hopkins graduations were sneaking squirts of hand sanitizer behind the podium. When he raised the issue in a class full of undergrads in his Health Economics class, six volunteered as research assistants to help collect samples that spring.

Bishai goes on to say, “Based on the evidence from this study, the probability of acquiring bacterial pathogens during handshaking could be lower than is commonly perceived by the general public. Individuals who already engage in hand hygiene after handshaking should not be dissuaded from this practice. With a lower bound estimate of one bacterial pathogen acquired in 5,209 handshakes, the study offers the politicians, preachers, principals, deans and even amateur hand shakers some reassurance that shaking hands with strangers is not as defiling as some might think.”

Important findings then for staff and graduands alike.

1 thought on “Should you shake hands at graduation?

  1. Pingback: Ninth Level Ireland » Blog Archive » Should you shake hands at graduation?

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