We all know the importance of keeping a clean environment and self to lead healthy, disease free lives. However, many of us are not aware that just a simple habit of hand washing could help us reduce the risk of many infections. Everyday life does not involve many activities that would get our hands dirty, apart from heavy house work and gardening, and this is probably the reason why many of us do not bother to wash our hands even before a meal. Recent research has however, proved that frequent hand washing is the most simple and low cost way of cutting rates of infection by nearly half.
A recent American study included a huge number of Navy recruits who were made to wash their hands five times a day for a year and the rate of illness was measured. The researchers found that at the end of the hand washing program after one year the rate of respiratory illness, such as flu and bronchitis, was down 45 per cent compared to the period before the hand washing regimen. The effect was most marked for milder forms of illness. Researchers concluded that this finding could hold numerous practical benefits for the general public, but the idea of a hand washing schedule requires a lot of dedication to make it work.