I've had it! Once again I saw a fellow restroom visitor leave the restroom after doing his business, without washing his hands. What is up with that?
I have been observing this phenomenon over the last few years especially at theaters. According to my research, if you are between the ages of 45-60 there is only about a 60% chance that you will wash your hands. I am speaking of males of course. I try to avoid women's restrooms at all cost!
I will not pretend this is scientific, but here is my informal breakdown on hand-washing by age group.
- (Ages 2-5) 95.5% of all children in this age bracket wash their hands after going to the bathroom. The frequency is based on the fact that they are with a parent or responsible adult who forces the issue. The exception of course is when they are with the 45-60 year old dad or grandpa who sees this as an inconvenience.
- (Ages 6-11) 88.9% of boys who fall in this age group are regular hand washers. This is mostly because of mom's instruction and a love for playing in the water. Interestingly, only 66.3% of boys in this age group remember to zip up their fly.
- (Ages 12-18) 85.7% of these young men wash after a visit to the restroom. This is not necessarily because the have such good hygiene. Mostly it is because the sink is near the mirror and they like to make sure they look OK. However this is also a very dangerous group. It is the middle school kid who does not wash his hands who plays the video game at the theater. It's the High School kid who holds hands with his unsuspecting date or works at the local Wendy's! Yuck!
- (Ages 19-30) 96.3% of men in this age group wash their hands. This is the top performing group. I am not exactly sure why except that they apparently care. Maybe it is the competitive spirit of this age group and it translates to having the cleanest hands.
- (Ages 31-44) 88.0% of men this age wash their hands after going to the bathroom. This is where the decline begins. Why? Maybe it is at this point that some men are skilled enough to go hands free. I don't know. Maybe it is laziness or they are just plain tired of washing their hands all the time.
- (Ages 45-60) Brace yourself. Only 58.4% of men in this age group wash their hands after using the restroom. Apparently the extra 45 seconds of effort is a bit beyond their capabilities. Maybe they have forgotten what mom or dad taught them about washing their hands. Could it be that it is a sign of middle age crisis? "Death is looming and I do not have time to wash my hands. I need to get back into the theater and eat my popcorn!"
- (Ages 61+) 95%! they wash and they are patient to wait their turn at the sink. They usually like to carry on a friendly conversation too.
There is the irrefutable data. My hope is that this vital information will make hand washers of us all.
As a bonus here is how it breaks down for sports fans. Again, this is based on my own hand-washing observations.
- Hockey Fan - (98.9%)
- Basketball Fan - (92.2%)
- Baseball Fan - Innings 1-8 (98%). Inning 9 (42.1%)
- Football Fan - (16.8%) Apparently it is too hard to wash your hands with a beer in one hand. Raider fan does not even make the trip. They go where they are!
- Soccer Fan - (3.6%) Most soccer fans fall down, feign pain, and wait to be carried out on a stretcher, thus bypassing the sink.