It’s well established that handwashing is one of the most effective measures to prevent the spread of infections, and has the power to save millions of lives. Now a new global survey conducted by Essity - maker of Tork - reveals that washing your hands also can have a positive impact on how people around you feel and behave.
Clean hands can make others more comfortable touching and interacting. People are more comfortable touching others when knowing that everyone washes their hands properly. Almost half of the respondents said they would be more comfortable shaking hands if they knew that others had proper hand hygiene, and almost 3 in 10 would be more comfortable touching strangers. 1 in 5 would also be more comfortable hugging others and helping someone in need.
Clean hands can increase others’ happiness and life satisfaction. Knowing that other people wash their hands properly would have a positive impact on the state of mind for 8 in 10 respondents. 4 in 10 would feel more comfortable in general, more than 3 in 10 would feel more satisfied in life, and 1 in 5 would feel happier, according to the survey.
Clean hands can make businesses flourish. 4 in 10 full-time employees wanted hand hygiene to be given higher priority at work. If all colleagues washed their hands properly, 3 in 10 would be more satisfied, and more than 4 in 10 would feel more comfortable at work. Proper hand hygiene can also bring more sales and even boost customer loyalty; noticing that the staff at a restaurant have clear routines for hand washing would make almost half of all respondents more willing to eat there again.
“Our hands have the power to improve well-being of our loved ones, and washing your hands has far-reaching implications on the people around you. That is something we should all embrace, not only today on Global Handwashing Day - but every day”, says Catarina Wickström, Customer Marketing Director at Essity.
For whom do you wash your hands?
A vast majority - 8 in 10 – said they wash their hands to protect themselves, while only 1 in 10 wash their hands to protect others. However, focusing on the altruistic side of handwashing might be an effective trigger to improve handwashing practices. In fact, 1 in 4 respondents said they would wash their hands more often if they knew it had a positive impact on others.
“For whom do you wash your hands? For yourself, your family, or someone else? If we all start thinking about how our hands affect the people around us, we might be able to improve overall hand hygiene compliance and unleash the full power of our hands”, says Catarina Wickström, Customer Marketing Director at Essity.
Women wash their hands 30% more often than men
Today, far from everyone washes their hands as often as they should. Globally, 3 in 10 don’t wash their hands before eating, more than 2 in 10 don’t wash their hands before cooking, and more than 1 in 10 don’t even wash their hands after visiting the toilet. Men are particularly underperforming, as women around the world wash their hands 30% more often than men.
“Washing your hands with soap for 20-30 seconds at the critical handwashing moments defined by CDC, and drying with paper towels is key to maintaining proper hand hygiene. It’s a simple act with powerful implications”, says Catarina Wickström, Customer Marketing Director at Essity.
About the Global Handwashing Day:
Essity is proud to be an official sponsor of Global Handwashing Day 2018. October 15 is Global Handwashing Day, a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.
About the Power of Hands survey:
The survey was conducted between July X and August X, 2018, through web panels in 6 different countries, collecting answers from a total of 3,060 respondents. National quotas have been used to obtain accurate representation of age and gender.
Essity is a leading global hygiene and health company dedicated to improving well-being through our products and solutions, essentials for everyday life. The name Essity stems from the words essentials and necessities. Our sustainable business model creates value for people and nature. Sales are conducted in approximately 150 countries under the leading global brands TENA and Tork, and other strong brands, such as Jobst, Leukoplast, Libero, Libresse, Lotus, Nosotras, Saba, Tempo, Vinda and Zewa. Essity has about 48,000 employees and net sales in 2017 amounted to approximately SEK 109bn (EUR 11.3bn). The headquarters is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. More information at www.essity.com.