Study shows habits of people when washing hands.

POSTED: Friday, October 16, 2009 - 8:23am

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 11:33am

Can a good scrub of warm, soapy water help ward off illnesses like the flu?

When researchers in England monitored a quarter million people in public bathrooms, they found only 64% of women used soap when washing their hands. Men left the restroom with dirtier hands and only a third used soap and water. The study also experimented with electronic reminders that would flash on in the bathrooms, encouraging hand washing.

The most effective reminder asked patrons this question, "Is the person next to you washing with soap?", giving the subjects the impression they were being watched.

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