The smartwatch or the fitness bracelet are part of the daily companion for many people. The gadgets are often even waterproof and remain on the wrist in the shower or in the swimming pool. But that’s not all, according to a study, when it comes to hygiene.
Almost every bracelet affected
According to a study by Florida Atlantic University, smartwatches and fitness bracelets can even make you sick. Pathogenic bacteria could be detected on 95 percent of all bracelets examined. And even though the gadgets are carried so close to the body every day, most people have not yet developed an awareness of the need for regular cleaning. The t-shirt goes into the laundry after a day of wear, and shoes are cleaned regularly. But most people ignore the wristband of a smartwatch or fitness tracker as a carrier of dirt and bacteria.
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Rubber and plastic particularly stressed
The study examined different materials for bracelets. Most bacteria were therefore found on bracelets made of rubber or plastic. On the silver and gold bands, on the other hand, bacteria were only found in very small quantities. Use also plays a major role: If you wear your gadget for sports or sweat a lot, you should clean it more often. The gender of the wearer, on the other hand, does not play a role: the bracelets of men and women were equally stressed.
Healthcare professions in focus
Regular cleaning of the wristbands is particularly important in healthcare professions. Even small amounts of the proven bacteria such as staphylococci, E. coli and salmonella could quickly cause damage to immunocompromised people.
This is how cleaning should be done
The study recommends cleaning with classic disinfectants with 70 percent alcohol. 99.99 percent of all bacteria can be eliminated in just 30 seconds. If necessary, even home remedies such as apple cider vinegar would suffice, but the exposure time should be at least two minutes.