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article imageA new healthy trend: Doctors fist bumping patients and colleagues

By W. Mark Dendy     Nov 26, 2013 in Health
Morgantown - It has long been held that handshaking is a vector for the transfer of disease-causing bacteria from one individual to the next. But an on-the-rise greeting trend could be a step in the right direction for reducing the spread of disease.
A pilot study published earlier this year in The Official Journal of the Healthcare Infection Society indicates that replacing the antiquated handshake how-do-you-do with the novel fist bump greeting may “reduce bacterial transmission between healthcare providers.”
“The handshake is outdated in most places,” reports The Atlantic “It would make more sense for us,” rather than shake hands, “to casually intertwine almost any other part of our bodies with those of strangers, lips and genitals the notable exceptions.”
According to the study led by Dr. W.T. McClellan of the West Virginia University School of Medicine, found that contact time on the average for a handshake was 2.7 times longer than the fist bump and the exposed surface area of the hand was three times greater with the old school handshake.
The fist bump dates back to the 1970s according to Time; however, the evolution of the greeting or celebratory gesture (it serves both purposes) is fuzzy with some saying it originated in the NBA while others cite Hanna-Barbera cartoon character as the first to employ the fist bump.
Nevertheless, the fist bump followed the high-fives and low-fives which originated in the 50's, and today, the fist bump, given an assortment of other colorful names such as "dap, pound, fist pound, bro fist, spudding, fo' knucks, box, Bust, pound dogg, props, Bones, or respect knuckles" is considered the "hippest" of greetings.
Despite the reasons behind the origin of the fist bump, healthcare providers seem to have found a "healthy" reason to keep the trend up.
Unless, of course, the explosion fist bump becomes more popular; then doctors will be looking at the effects of air born bacteria in the spittle that comes with the accompanying "Kaboom."
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