New survey shows average adult washes their hands 9 times daily — though nearly one in five admit to scrubbing their digits 15 times a day!

NEW YORK — Nearly half of Americans feel that no matter how often they wash their hands, it’s never enough during COVID-19, according to a new survey. Despite the results however, researchers find constantly stressing over safety is getting old fast as the world enters year two of the pandemic.

The poll asked 2,000 Americans to reflect on the past 12 months to analyze their hygiene habits. Even though 90 percent of respondents say they are aware of the CDC’s guidance on washing hands for 20 seconds, 41 percent admit it’s starting to get tiresome.

covid hygieneConducted by OnePoll on behalf of American Water, the survey analyzed how respondents are practicing hygiene as quarantines, lockdowns, and social distancing drags in to 2021.

2020 turned Americans into germaphobes

It may come as no surprise that the pandemic is a frustrating subject for three-quarters of respondents. More specifically, 65 percent have had it with people not taking the crisis seriously enough so it can end. Forty-two percent of the survey now describe themselves as a germaphobe because of the pandemic. Of these respondents, 79 percent agree that this change isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The top habits respondents are doing to stay safe include carrying hand sanitizer at all times, immediately washing their hands for a full 20 seconds after being outside, and avoiding contact with public surfaces at all costs. With frequent hand washing being a key part of fighting COVID-19, the survey also looked at how frequently people are doing this. Researchers discovered the average American washes their hands nine times a day. Nearly one in five (18%) wash upwards of 15 times a day.

covid hygiene“We know that water plays an essential role in people’s daily lives, and as increased hand-washing regimens help to prevent the spread of the virus, we wanted to better understand how consumers’ awareness of their reliance on water may have changed,” says Ruben Rodriguez, Senior Director of External Communications for American Water, in a statement.

Although 65 percent of respondents said their hygiene habits have improved over the past year, 42 percent admit to letting things slide over the past few months. The top habit respondents are less inclined to do today, compared to March 2020, are immediately changing out of their clothes and washing them after being outside. Respondents are also less likely to sanitize all groceries and mail now.

Additionally, one in five respondents admitted that they don’t wash their hands an average of five times a day anymore, even though they know they probably should.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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