In some truly awful news that you really need to know, one in 10 Australians still isn’t washing their hands after going to the bathroom. What?! Even if we weren’t in a global health pandemic, this would be worrying but the current circumstances make this statistic even more alarming.
October 15 marks Global Handwashing Day and in the lead-up, Dyson conducted a survey with 8,758 individuals across 14 countries to see how sentiment around hand hygiene has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the over 8,000 participants who responded to the survey, 82% said they wash their hands at least five times a day compared to only 50% before the pandemic. When it comes to Australia, 12% of Aussie respondents admitted they are likely to leave the washroom without washing their hands. Yikes.
However, 40% of Aussies also admitted to feeling a lot more concerned about visiting a public washroom compared to this time last year, which definitely makes sense and hopefully means they’re being more thorough with their hygiene?!
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has repeatedly attempted to highlight the importance of handwashing both during and after the pandemic, given the role hands play in the transference of germs. According to experts, practising good hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses.
“These results highlight the need for further education on hand hygiene,” said Dr Salome Giao, senior microbiologist and scientist at Dyson. “We know damp hands can transfer up to 1,000 times more bacteria than dry hands, while wiping hands-on clothes can jeopardise the hand washing process, as they can add bacteria to the washed hands if they are not clean.”
Somewhat alarmingly, only 45% of the respondents stated hygiene considerations as their main purpose for washing their hands. 10% admitted to doing it as a habit, while another 10% stated they simply like the feeling of clean hands.
One of the barriers to proper handwashing when out and about was largely found to be down to poorly maintained public bathrooms. The data showed that 27% of respondents were likely to let their hands dry naturally when no hand dryers or paper towels were available, while 20% dried their hands on their top or pants.
So, the lesson here is to wash your hands every single time you go to the toilet, (please!) and use the fancy Dyson Airblade when drying your hands in a public bathroom. It helps to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses, which is very, very good news.