Women wash their hands more than men in Wales, poll finds

  • ITV Wales Report Issa Farfour reports

Do women wash their hands more than men in Wales?

A survey from Public Health Wales found that men are less likely than women to "think" hand washing is necessary.

1 in 5 men in Wales admitted they "don’t wash their hands" after "going to the toilet".

Men were also more likely than women to report washing their hands for less than 20 seconds.

In a survey of over a thousand adults in Wales, there was low awareness of the importance of hand washing after coming back from a public place.

With only 41% of men and 50% of women agreeing that it was necessary.

The YouGov survey commissioned by Public Health Wales also found that people had a lack of awareness about the importance of hand washing after meeting people outside their household.

Only around half of Welsh adults said they "always or often wash their hands after sneezing or blowing their nose".

Public health experts highlighted the importance of hand hygiene to stay well this winter.

Experts said the most "effective action is good hand washing".

This will reduce the spread of infections, like flu, norovirus and Covid-19. A typical person’s hands contain millions of microbes, most are harmless but some may be infection-causing bacteria.

In order to reduce the risk of spreading germs, the experts recommended washing hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and water at key times of the day, including before eating, after using the toilet, after blowing your nose, after travelling on public transport and when arriving home after being in a public place.

Public health experts highlighted the importance of hand hygiene to stay well this winter. Credit: PA Images

Also, if hand washing facilities are unavailable, an alcohol-based hand gel can be effective against viruses (although it does not work for noroviruses).

Other measures to protect against the spread of infection this winter are to stay at home if a person is unwell and ensure that everyone is up to date with their winter vaccinations.

Dr. Giri Shankar, Director of Health Protection for Public Health Wales said, "It’s important to continue the good hygiene practices that we learnt during the Covid pandemic.

"No one likes to be ill, especially during the festive season. Taking a few simple steps to protect yourself and your loved ones against infection can really make all the difference and increase your chances of staying well this winter."

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