In what will come as wholly unsurprising news for many people, your Apple Watch band is a breeding ground for bacteria

Warning: Bacteria Alert

Nearly all Apple Watches and Fitbits are covered in harmful bacteria, according to a study recently published in the science journal Advances in Infectious Diseases.

Researchers from Florida Atlantic University looked at plastic, rubber, cloth, leather, and metal wristbands to see if there was a relation between the wristband material and bacteria build-up.

They also tested household disinfectants to clean them.

Here Are Their Findings

They found that 95% of wristbands were contaminated with some dangerous bacteria.

“Nearly all wristbands (95%) were contaminated, with the highest average numbers… on rubber and plastic bands respectively.” Metallic gold and silver wristbands had less, the study says. “While the high prevalence of Staphylococcus spp (85% of wristbands)—skin microbiota; was not unexpected, the occurrence of Pseudomonas spp (30%), and enteric bacteria (60%), even at relatively low numbers is of public health significance. Bacterial load on individual subjects varied remarkably with males and females harboring average total bacteria of 4.045 and 3.42 log10cfu/cm2 of wristband, respectively.”

Wearing the strap during workouts gave rise to the highest levels of Staphylococcus spp, and rubber and plastic bands had higher bacteria levels, while metal ones had less. I’d say it’s the rubber and plastic ones that are more comfortable to wear when you’re working out.

The table below presents the demographics of participants and types of wristbands worn, as well as their activity at the time of sampling.

At left, a bacterial culture was taken from the plastic wristband of a 39-year-old male CrossFit fan and, at right, a sample from the rubber wristband of a 25-year-old female CrossFit enthusiast. After 30-hrs incubation, the plastic sample had no Staph aureus bacteria, but the rubber did

Effectiveness of Cleaning Products

According to the New York Post, researchers also tested the effectiveness of cleaning products by comparing Lysol Disinfectant Spray, 70% ethanol — which is commonly used in hospitals and for alcohol wipes — and apple cider vinegar.  

Findings from the study showed that Lysol Disinfectant Spray and 70% ethanol were highly effective on all materials, killing 99.99% of bacteria within 30 seconds, while apple cider vinegar was not as successful and required a full two minutes to reduce the bacterial count.

Note that it’s not wise to use Clorox wipes or alcohol on leather or metal bands, though this is a good choice for bands like the Solo Loop and Sport Band. Apple recommends mild soap.

Apple has a support document dedicated to explaining the best practices for sanitizing its different types of Apple Watch bands.

Get the news you need at It’s On News.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *