The Global Hygiene Council issued data from the international Lysol Habit Study, which found 54 percent of people surveyed globally reported good personal hygiene, and good personal hygiene improves health.
However, several novel findings influenced hygiene scores, including:
-- Conscientious or nervous personality types reported experiencing 10 percent fewer colds than others.
-- Those with good manners, such as covering their mouths when sneezing, were more than twice as likely as others to have good health.
-- Hygiene habits varied by profession, with homemakers reporting the highest level of personal hygiene at 64.5 percent and students reporting the worst at 44.5 percent.
The U.S. reported high levels of frequent hand-washing, but its rank for household hygiene fell into the bottom half against other countries. Household hygiene scores were based on such factors as frequency of surface cleaning, tidiness and having an established house cleaning routine.
"Results of this study should empower Americans to improve or maintain their personal and household hygiene in order to help break the chain of transmission," John Oxford, chairman of the Hygiene Council and of St. Barts and The London School of Dentistry, said in a statement.