09/07/2013 06:19 BST | Updated 09/07/2013 06:21 BST

The Urinal Sink: Is This What It Takes To Get Men To Wash Their Hands?

Things must have gotten really bad if, in an attempt to cajole men into washing their hands after urinating, the best solution is to create a urinal with a built-in sink. Like a similar adage we know, Latvian designer Kaspars Jursons would like you to wash where you pee.

The urinal sink is called Tandem, and draws lofty parallels with the makers of the bicycle. On the website, it reads: "In the 19th century man invented the bicycle, which changed the movement habits of humans forever. TANDEM is not a bike, however the simplicity and functionality of it will open up new experiences in your everyday habits."


The idea is that after urinating, you then use the faucet above the urinal which in turns helps to flush the urinal. It's been said that it helps save water but we can see a couple of issues with this.

First, if you happen to have eaten asparagus, you have to wash your hands above your pungent pee. Second, is that depending on water pressure in the area, you may end up with dreaded splashback on the front of your trousers.


However, will this new urinal design finally get men to wash their hands?

The tap is hands free and therefore more hygienic than traditional taps. The Daily Mail quoted Jursons as saying: "If you did not have the habit of washing your hands after you go to the bathroom before, you will definitely be reminded now, when you are faced with a tap right at the urinal."


A study by Michigan State University, which involved watching nearly 4,000 in a restroom, found that men wash their hands for about six seconds. The recommended time, to kill bacteria is 20 seconds.

The study went on to elaborate that 15% of men don't wash their hands at all, and those that did neglected to use soap - which is the main aid in killing bacteria on the hands. Washing habits were also revealed, with people more likely to wash their hands in the morning and less likely if the sink was dirty.


Shaming people with a sign is effective as well, as people were more likely to wash if there was a reminder prompting them.

Be honest (it's anonymous!) - do you remember to wash your hands after using the toilet?

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