A divide in personal hygiene Survey: men more likely to ignore cleanliness guidelines

WHEN it comes to personal hygiene, men are often less conscious of what they should be doing than women.

That is the finding of a survey carried out by the Department of Health (衛生署).

The department interviewed 2,001 people aged 12 or above between January and February to discover their knowledge of, and attitude to, personal and environmental hygiene practices.

The survey found only half of men always cover their nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing, compared to 63 percent of women.

Men are also less likely to wash their hands before touching their eyes, nose and mouth, and after handling rubbish and touching public installations or equipment.

The study also found most people have a good understanding of personal hygiene, but rarely put it into practice.

Nine out of 10 respondents do not follow guidelines of washing their hands with liquid soap and water for 20 seconds.

To the 6 percent who do not always wash their hands after using the toilet, Andrew Wong Tin-yau (黃天祐), head of the infection control branch at the Centre for Health Protection (衛生防護中心), warned that “up to one trillion germs can live in a gram of poop”.