Steer clear of shaking hands the next time you meet a person, for a new study has revealed that a peck on the cheek is healthier than the conventional handshake.
The study, carried out by Prof Sally Bloomfield, from the London School of Hygiene and chairman of the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene, stated that people who greet each other with handshakes are much more likely to pass on germs such as flu, cold and stomach bugs, than those who settle for a peck on the cheek.
"The hands are critical in the chain of infection as they transmit infections from surfaces to people and between people," the Telegraph quoted Bloomfield, as saying.
"Shaking hands is the main form of physical contact with each other but you don't know what the other person has been touching before you greet them. People avoid kissing each other when they have a cold, but in fact they are more likely to pass on an infection by shaking someone's hand," she added.
Prof John Oxford, Britain's leading flu expert and a virologist at Barts hospital and the London School of Medicine, said social kissing might help cut infections.
"Social kissing on the cheek would not easily transfer infection while viruses can spread via the hands far more easily," he said.
Both experts insist that the French "air kiss", which avoids contact all together, is the best.