Americans Are Washing Their Hands Less Often than at Start of Pandemic

Americans Are Washing Their Hands Less Often than at Start of Pandemic

In 2022, only 56 percent of Americans wash their hands six to 15 times per day.

Handwashing is a fundamental way to avoid germs. When the pandemic started in 2020, it came with many uncertainties. But one thing we did know was to wash our hands. Now in the third year of the pandemic, many Americans’ handwashing frequency has changed.

Bradley Corporation, an expert in hand hygiene, has conducted yet another survey on handwashing. Since 2009, Bradley has been conducting these surveys on handwashing in America. In 2022, Bradley surveyed 1,035 adult Americans from January 10-21.

The survey showed that people are washing their hands less now than in 2020. This year, 56 percent of people surveyed washed their hands six to 15 times per day. In 2020, that number was 78 percent. (A total of 37 percent of people previously surveyed washed their hands as much before the pandemic.)

The survey also showed that not as many people are worried about getting COVID-19 as they were last year. Only 41 percent noted they were concerned, as opposed to the 53 percent in 2021. Still, 78 percent of respondents said they were concerned about germs in general. This number of concerned people has been decreasing slowly since 2020 when 89 percent of respondents were worried, compared to 86 percent in 2021.

The survey lists eight specific places where people said they were concerned about contracting germs. The top three include stores (50 percent), hospitals and doctor/dental offices (39 percent) and restaurants (34 percent).

As more and more people wash their hands less and say they aren’t as concerned about germs and catching covid-19, the way people greet each other is changing. Handshaking is becoming more common, with only 36 percent of respondents saying they avoid it compared to 49 percent in 2020.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2022

    June 2022


      Corporate Safety Culture Is Workplace Culture
      Keeping Workers Safe from Heat-Related Illnesses & Injuries
      Should Employers Consider Oral Fluid Drug Testing?
      Addressing Physical Differences
    View This Issue