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MICRO-Wellness March: Selfless AND Effective Wellness with Hand washing

Mar 21, 2020

Did YOU know?

The average hand-washing time is 6 seconds, less than half of what is recommended? And only 5% of us regularly wash long and thoroughly enough. 

Time to stop hand spritzing and start hand-washing!

[A Selfless MICRO-habit]

Dr. James Hamblin calls hand-washing “one of the world’s most crucial and selfless acts.” He explains that amid the concern of the coronavirus crisis, it’s time to take heed of the time-honored advice that can slow the spread of most viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have one clear, concise and definitive recommendation:

[Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds]

If you’re ready to commit to creating the 20 second MICRO-habit of proper AND frequent hand-washing, read on to learn how and when to wash those hands!

[Hand-washing Refresher]

The CDC reminds of us of the simple steps to an effective 20-second hand wash. 

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

[It’s not just the bathroom visit]

In addition to longer hand-washing, washing your hands more frequently will decrease your chances of catching or spreading a virus. The CDC recommends washing hands:

  • 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 an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage

[Use Hand Sanitizer When You Can’t Use Soap and Water]

If you don’t have access to good ole soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Although they are not as effective in removing all types of germs, they can quickly reduce the number of germs on your hands.

The same 20-second rule applies. Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.

[A good tiny behavior is easy to do—and fast. ~BJ Fogg, Stanford]

BJ Fogg of Stanford University reminds us that “a good tiny behavior is easy to do—and fast.” Not only is the MICRO-habit of hand-washing good for your health, it’s good for your family’s, your co-workers’, and our community’s. So, lather up, clear your throat, and hum a couple of rounds of “Happy Birthday” – to YOU!







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