Fist Bumps Better Than Handshakes, Says Science

I knew it! I knew it. Looks like Army of Two was onto something after all.

How do you greet people when you first meet them? Do you reach out a hand and grab on for dear life, as though you're about to slip off the deck of the Titanic into the icy depths below? Or do you coolly extend a fist as if to say, "Go ahead, lay one on me. You know how this works"?

Well, the second one is somewhat less likely to kill you.

EurekaAlert brings us a study from the Institute of Biological, Environmental, and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University in which researchers tested various greetings—fist bumps, handshakes, and high fives—to figure out which transfers the fewest germs. The result? Fist bumps won by a landslide.

"After the exchange, the receiving gloves were immersed in a solution to count the number of bacteria transferred during contact. Nearly twice as many bacteria were transferred during a handshake compared to the high-five, and significantly fewer bacteria were transferred during a fist bump than a high-five. In all three forms of greeting, a longer duration of contact and stronger grips were further associated with increased bacterial transmission."

The researchers argued that turning fist bumps into the social norm could "substantially reduce the transmission of infectious diseases between individuals." I've been trying to cut back on my transmission of infectious diseases lately, so that's really good news!

In short, be a bro about this. Well, at least in the "see the world through a Terminator-like UI of potential fist bump targets" sense. We're no longer just talking about a perfect, infinitely meaningful greeting/expression of affection/thing to do after you just shot a hundred dudes. This is a matter of life and death. Or at least life and a nasty case of the sniffles.

To contact the author of this post, write to nathan.grayson@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter at @vahn16.