Germs are everywhere. Swine flu, regular flu, our homes, the gym — there's no escaping the little buggers. One of the best ways to protect yourself is still the easiest: wash those hands! If you're like me, you probably believe that the hotter the water, the better. Not so, says a recent study.
Conducted by scientists with the Joint Bank Group/Fund Health Services Department, the study looked at the bacteria levels of participants after they washed their hands in different water temperatures. The results showed no difference in levels between participants who washed their hands in hot water versus those who washed in cold. The scientists went on to say that tepid water is a better choice for hand washing because it's gentler on the skin and it's better for the environment.
I think it'll take me a little while to adjust to this change — something about washing my hands in hot water just feels safer. When you do wash up, though, make sure you always use soap and lather up for at least 30 seconds.