World Hand Hygiene Day: Insights From the 2024 Healthy Handwashing Habits Survey

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Happy Hand Hygiene Day! Bradley's 2024 survey unveils American handwashing trends: It increased during illness and travel but decreased after restroom use. Parents are key in fostering hygiene habits.

World Hand Hygiene Day  (Adobe Stock 786402106 By NAVIN)

World Hand Hygiene Day

(Adobe Stock 786402106 By NAVIN)

For over a decade, Bradley Company's annual Healthy Handwashing Survey has illuminated America’s handwashing behaviors and public restroom preferences. In January 2024, Bradley Company surveyed 1,003 American adults, revealing intriguing insights into hand hygiene practices and restroom expectations.

“Our goal for this research during the past 15 years has been to keep the health benefits of handwashing with soap top-of-mind and encourage handwashing follow-through,” said Jon Dommisse, vice president of business development and strategy for Bradley. “In public settings where germs can be of concern, people depend on clean, well-stocked restrooms for executing handwashing. Similar to how the iPod changed music and 9/11 changed air travel, COVID-19 has forever changed public bathroom expectations and design for handwashing.”

The survey highlighted that Americans approach handwashing pragmatically, increasing frequency during seasonal virus outbreaks and illness. Notably, 77% prioritize hand hygiene during travel, while 89% cleanse after using public restrooms. Surprisingly, 29% of men skip handwashing post-restroom use.

Parents play a pivotal role in instilling handwashing habits in children. Most parents encourage handwashing (63%), use fun soaps (39%), or incorporate handwashing into routines (30%).

The survey’s results also show the respondents’ thoughts on public restrooms. Public restroom assessments unveiled a desire for enhanced privacy, with 70% feeling stalls lack adequate coverage. Respondents display distinct preferences, selecting stalls furthest from entrances (40%) and favoring full-length doors (45%).

Respondents expressed frustration over restroom pet peeves, including paper towel litter (62%) and unkempt appearances (41%). Despite some improvements, 43% report unpleasant experiences, emphasizing the need for cleaner, well-stocked facilities with touchless fixtures.

As we commemorate World Hand Hygiene Day on May 5th, these findings serve as a stark reminder of the importance of hand hygiene. They underscore its crucial role in preventing illness and enhancing public health. Let's all commit to making hand hygiene a top priority.

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