Alert
Close

Watch the NASCAR race on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Join the Drive to End Hunger!

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
America's Winter Escapes Sweepstakes
Introducing RealPad by AARP
You and Your Town Contest-You could win an AARP RealPad

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Health Blog—Take This

The Dirty Truth About Men

New study finds they've got trouble on their hands

Take This Wash Your Hands

— CSA Images/Mod Art Collection/Getty Images

Ask people whether they wash their hands after using a public restroom and, of course, they say yes. But when restroom spies actually watched to see who washed their hands, that's when the dirty truth came out.

Men, especially those at sporting events, still lag way behind women in washing their hands after doing their business. (We'll pause now for women to say "ewwww," and men to shift uncomfortably in their seats.)

A new survey based on restroom observations found that 93 percent of women wash their hands in public restrooms, while only 77 percent of men do. And that's an improvement over 2007, when only 66 percent of men did.

However, when asked in a telephone survey whether they always wash their hands after using a public restroom, 96 percent of adults said they do. So much for honesty.

The latest survey, sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology and the American Cleaning Institute, was conducted by Harris Interactive. The market research firm sent restroom observers to six locations in four cities where two previous surveys had been conducted. The locations included Turner Field in Atlanta, New York's Grand Central Station, Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry and San Francisco's Ferry Terminal Farmers Market.

Men at sporting events had the worst habits, the observers found. At Turner Field, barely two-thirds (65 percent) of men washed up—although that's an improvement over the dismal 57 percent in 2007. Maybe to make up for their germy companions, 98 percent of women at Turner Field washed up.

The place with the best hand-washing habits? The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, where 93 percent of adults washed their hands.

With flu season coming up, washing hands—or using a hand sanitizer—is an easy, effective way to prevent spreading germs, says microbiologist Judy Daly of Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City. This is especially important for older Americans and those with weakened immune systems.

Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go: The survey found that only 39 percent of Americans say they always wash their hands after coughing or sneezing.

Candy Sagon writes about nutrition and health for the AARP Bulletin.

Also of Interest

Visit the AARP home page every day for great deals and for tips on keeping healthy and sharp

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points