COVID-19: How Often Do We Touch Our Faces? How To Stop It?

It is a habit that you can break. According to experts, one needs to be mindful about his or her intention to keep your hands away from your face.

We touch our face faces many times – knowingly or unknowingly – every day. And we do it without any second thought. However, with the outbreak of coronavirus, it has been advised to stop touching it to reduce your chances of catching the deadly virus.

“We should particularly try to avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth, which can be an effective way of halting the spread of the coronavirus, also called SARS-CoV-2. Viruses can live for days on surfaces from desktops to door handles, and once on our hands can be transferred into our bodies through these entry points,” the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

How often we touch our faces?

A study in 2008, observed 10 subjects in an office environment for 3 hours. Researchers noted that they touched their faces an average of 16 times per hour.

Another study in 2015, observed 26 medical students at a university in Australia and find out that they touched their faces 23 times per hour. Interestingly, around half of the face touches involved the nose, mouth, or eyes, which are the easiest pathways for COVID-19 to enter our bodies.

Even medical professionals, who are considered to be more aware of these things, were found to touch their faces an average of 19 times in 2 hours while being inconsistent about observing proper hand hygiene.

How To Stop It?

It is a habit that you can break. According to experts, one needs to be mindful about his or her intention to keep your hands away from your face.

You can place reminders like Post-it notes in your office or home so that you can remember by seeing them that you want to keep your hands away from your face.

Some experts recommended, scented hand sanitizer or hand soap to help remind yourself to keep your hands away from your face. The smell will draw your attention to the location of your hands.

While sitting in a class or a meeting, it is recommended to place your fingers together and put  them in your lap.

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