The Importance of Hand Washing

Posted by: BeneFIT Corporate Wellness
Date: August 26, 2013

At any given moment, our hands can be home to nearly 5,000 germs, such as those that cause colds or flus. Germs are almost impossible to avoid based on how busy our hands are during every hour of the day.

Often our daily routine includes actions like shaking hands, answering phones, holding doors, using restrooms, preparing food, visiting ATM machines and pumping gas, to name a few. Plus, the average individual touches his or her face nearly 16 times every hour. Therefore, it’s easy to see how germs can transfer quickly from person to person.

The number one way to minimize the spread of germs is by thoroughly washing your hands. It’s the simplest step toward limiting infection to you and to others.

Using soap and water remains the most effective method of hand washing. When soap and water are not readily available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) is the recommended back-up plan.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following advice for washing hands:

When to Wash Your Hands
At Work and Anytime:

  • Before, during and after preparing food.
  • Before eating food.
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound.
  • After using the toilet.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • After touching garbage.


  • Before or after attending to someone who is sick.
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up after a child has used the toilet.
  • After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste.

Test Your Hand Washing Skills

  • Wet your hands with clean running water (either warm or cold) and apply soap.
  • Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub well, including the backs of your hands, between your finger and under your nails.
  • Continue rubbing for 20 seconds.
  • Rinse your hands well under running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.

For more information on how to prevent the spread of germs that can cause disease or illness, please contact us.

Disclaimer: The information presented is for your general knowledge and does not replace the advice of a physician. All medical inquiries regarding your health should be presented to a physician.

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