SKILLMAN, N.J., Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Most U.S. adults would rather touch a public toilet seat than shake someone's hand after they've coughed or sneezed into it, a survey indicates.
The survey, commissioned by Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer, says two in five U.S. adults say they have hesitated to shake hands with someone because of their fear of germs.
Four in five Americans say they think people are shaking hands less frequently than they did 25 years ago. However, 56 percent say cold and flu germs are the worst part of a winter handshake, and 49 would prefer using a fist bump over a handshake -- 15 percent due to the fear of germs, 13 percent because of sweaty palms and 6 percent because of dry hands.
Half of American adults living on the East Coast say they have hesitated to give a handshake due to germs, compared with 35 percent on the West Coast.
However, Southerners, known for their hospitality, average about eight handshakes a week, or two more than the national average of six handshakes a week.
The survey of 1003 U.S. adults, conducted by Wakefield Research Sept. 7-10, has a margin of error of 3.09 percentage points.