A recent observational study found that 85 percent of adults washed their hands in public restrooms -- significantly less than the 96 percent of adults who say they do.
Men do worse than women -- just 77 percent washed their hands, compared with 93 percent of women. However, both numbers are up -- the last time the survey was done, in 2007, only 66 percent of men washed, and 88 percent of women.
USA Today reports:
“The study ... involved discreetly observing 6,028 adults in public restrooms in August to see whether they washed their hands. Hand washing is important especially because ... many respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses are transmitted primarily by hand contact”.