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June 19, 2013
As we already know, the issues related to a lack of proper personal hygiene can put our health to risk and substantially increase our chances to suffer from serious diseases and health conditions. Thus, according to the recent findings of a group of American health care specialists, those people who visit gyms and other public sports facilities on a regular basis are exposed to quite high risks for infections, especially respiratory system infections like cold or a flu, as well as skin infections like nail fungus or athlete’s foot. These are the negative effects of improper personal hygiene reported by a group of participants of the study. A large portion of those participants admitted never cleaning gym tools from their sweat, rarely washing their gym cloths, or accidentally using towels and drinking water bottles of other people in the gym. Read more about the findings of this interesting and alarming study in this article.
Another scientific group of the researchers from the Michigan State University, the United States, decided to look closer and analyze the current situation as to our personal hygiene linked to washing hands after visiting a bathroom. It is interesting that the scientists did not use any of classical methods like interviewing the participants or asking them to fill in specially designed questionnaires. Instead, the scientists chose using only observation approach. They watched how people wash hands in public toilets, and managed to observe about 3,750 people before coming with their conclusions. It turned out that as small as only 5 per cent of the observed people could be qualified as washing hands properly after visiting a bathroom. In other words, the type of washing they used can be considered a proper one for killing all the germs and significantly reduce the risks for all the infectious diseases those germs can cause.
According to the report about the findings published earlier this week in the Journal of Environmental Health, the observations have shown that about one third of the people did not use soap for washing hands after visiting public bathrooms, and about 10 per cent of the people observed by the researchers did not chose wash hands after visiting bathrooms. After analyzing the collected information, it became apparent that the tendency is more severe in men: about 15 per cent of men chose not to wash their hands after bathroom, and so did 7 per cent of women. An associate professor of hospitality business Carl Borchgrevink, one of the study leaders and the author of the report, underlined that all his colleagues were extremely surprised to see how low number of people actually manage to wash hands properly, and how large number demonstrated failure to do so, this way putting themselves at high risks of numerous infections and serious diseases due to improper personal hygiene.
According to the report about the research, only every one or two men who were out of a public bathroom used soap for washing hands. At the same time, about 78 per cent of women used soap for washing hands after visiting a public restroom. Finally, the researchers could observe that the percent of the people who washed their hands after visiting a public bathroom was much higher in the morning hours. As the study leader suggested, this could be caused by a relaxed lifestyle at night, being more focused on meals or drinks rather than on basic rules of personal hygiene. Also, the researchers found out that the number of people who wanted to wash their hands after visiting a public bathroom was decreasing drastically in those cases when the sink in the bathroom looked very dirty and unwashed. Instead, in those public bathrooms with the special signs encouraging people to wash hand after visiting a toilet the number of people who chose to wash hands was very high. That is why the signs could really be effective, the study leader said.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.