Top Trends in Health 2001 – 2010

Public domain pic of a virus.
Germy Image via Wikipedia

What’s big in health in the past decade? There are the obvious big-name near-pandemics like SARS, cholera and swine flu. And if you’re not into the “We’re all going to die!” mentality then we could talk about stem cells, genomics, and the political implications thereof. But those all pale in comparison to the most important health research of the twenty-aughts.

1. Don’t cover your mouth with your hand when you sneeze

My favorite destroyers of unhealthy wives’ tales The Mythbusters showed us that not only is your hand an ineffective sneeze stopper, it’s also a health liability. A germy sneezed-upon hand is one of the most effective vectors for infectious diseases and therefore a terrible option to muffle a sneeze. While the Mythbusters concluded (suboptimally I might add) that it’s best to sneeze into your elbow, I’m in the sneeze into your shirt or jacket camp, because it captures more of the foul ejecta.

Unfortunately this potentially life saving health knowledge goes against decades of moms and dads telling us to cover our mouths (with our hands) when we sneeze. How can we combat this deadly misinformation? Pop culture to the rescue.

2. Fist Bumps for Health, Fist Bumps for Life

Oldsters don’t get the fist bump.

“It’s violent. I don’t like it.”

Well, then you’re going to DIE!

Michael Jordan might’ve first popularized the fist bump in the nineties, and evidence suggests that it was around for a while before that, but the fist bump really started to take off in the past decade.

Germaphobes immediately embraced the fist bump for its considerable health advantages over the handshake. Handshakes are messy. Handshakes spread germs. Even University of Calgary Dean of Medicine Tomas Feasby lobbies that the fist bump is a  “nice replacement of the handshake” in that it can prevent transmission of some diseases.

Best Health Research of the Decade

Mythbusters: Out of using your elbow, using your hand, and using a handkerchief to cover your mouth when you sneeze, which is the best way to limit the spread of germs?

Best Health Trend of the Decade

The rise of the fist bump.

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