Surveys Find Many Americans Not Following Proper Health, Hygiene Practices


One of the results from the survey showed that 42% of American people do not wash their hands every time they use the restroom.

Two surveys, conducted by ValuePenguin and the American Cleaning Institute, have found that although Americans are concerned about their health, many do not adhere to proper health and hygiene pracatices.1,2

ValuePenguin conducted an online survey of 1311 Americans with the sample base proportioned to represent overall population. One of the results from the survey showed that 42% of American people do not wash their hands every time they use the restroom. Further, 18% admit to regularly biting their nails. Both of these habits could contribute to the continuous spread of COVID-19.1

In addition, 55% of Americans confessed to getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night. Meanwhile, 66% say they are not eating enough helpings of fruit and vegetables in their diets, and 70% say they are not getting the recommended 2 and a half hours of physical activity in a week.1

In addition to these habits, the findings showed that 13% of Americans do not have access to health care professionals and preventive care. Further, over 19% of Generation Z respondents are not insured, along with 15% of millennials, and 15% of Generation X.1

In regard to long term health, 53% of Americans do not visit the doctor of yearly checkups, being more common among men than women. Moreover, members of Generation Z are most likely to lie to their health care professionals, and go into work when they are sick; and 21% reported lying to their employee-sponsored health insurance providers, according to the survey.1

The American Cleaning Institute, with the assistance of Ipsos, conducted a poll that found that although 58% of Americans are more mindful about washing their hands for at least 20 seconds, 10% still have not made any changes to their hand hygiene. An online survey was conducted between March 18 to March 19, with a sample of 1005 adults aged 18 years and older.2

Over 69% of respondents reported using more hand soap, and 59% said they have used more hand sanitizer since learning about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition, fewer than half of the participants reported increased use of multi-purpose disinfectant wipes (44%) or spray (36%), as well as paper towels (35%). Regardless, 82% are confident that the cleaning products they use will protect against the spread of the virus, according to the survey.2


  • Bad habits get in the way of staying healthy during COVID-19, survey finds [news release]. New York, NY; PR Newswire: April 2, 2020. Accessed April 2, 2020.
  • Eight in ten Americans are confident in the ability of their cleaning products to protect against COVID-19 [news release]. Washington, D.C.; Ipsos: March 25, 2020. Accessed April 2, 2020.

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