You’ve been washing your hands all wrong – and men are worse at it than women

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HALF of Irish people don’t wash their hands for the recommended 20 seconds, a new survey has found.

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The survey also revealed that women overall practiced better hygiene habits than men.

Half of Irish people don't wash their hands for the recommended 20 seconds, a survey has found

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Half of Irish people don’t wash their hands for the recommended 20 seconds, a survey has foundCredit: Getty Images – Getty
A total of 96 per cent of respondents meanwhile said their use of hand sanitizer has increased since the beginning of the pandemic

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A total of 96 per cent of respondents meanwhile said their use of hand sanitizer has increased since the beginning of the pandemicCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Initial Hygiene also said that 85 per cent of those surveyed said they have made efforts to improve their hand hygiene habits since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey also found that 91 per cent of respondents believe they would continue to maintain their improved hand hygiene standards into the future.

And two thirds said their preferred handwashing method is using warm water and soap.

Advanced Technical Field Consultant with the company, Richard Faulkner said: “This survey shows the great degree to which hand hygiene habits have improved since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“However, it also shows that there are still areas that can be improved.”

He added: “To coincide with Global Handwashing Day, Initial Hygiene is calling on all Irish businesses to ensure that their employees are aware of proper hand hygiene and handwashing procedures, to ensure a hygienic and safe workspace for everyone.”

Ten per cent of respondents reported that they don’t use soap as their preferred method of handwashing.

A total of 96 per cent of respondents meanwhile said their use of hand sanitizer has increased since the beginning of the pandemic, and 85 per cent claimed they wound continue to use it in the future.

WOMEN VS MEN STATS

According to the hygiene experts, female respondents were found to have better hand hygiene habits than men in their responses, with 81 per cent of women saying they washed their hands before every meal.

This is opposed to 75 per cent of male respondents.

And 72 per cent of women surveyed said they washed their hands more than six times a day, with only 58 per cent of men also claiming this.

72 per cent of women and just 61 per cent of men also referenced using warm water with soap as their preferred handwashing method.

Meanwhile, 95 per cent of women reported that their hand hygiene habits had improved since the onset of the pandemic, as opposed to 79 per cent of men.

HANDWASHING TIPS

Initial Hygiene advice for handwashing, which aligns with advice from the World Health Organisation is:

  • Clean your hands regularly
  • Always use soap and warm water when washing your hands
  • Use alcohol-based hand rub if you don’t have immediate access to soap and water
  • Always spend over 20 seconds minimum when washing your hands, to ensure they’re cleaned thoroughly
  • Wash thoroughly, ensuring that every part of the hand is included
  • Dry thoroughly with a clean single use towel afterwards

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