Osong Public Health Res Perspect.  2021 Jun;12(3):187-195. 10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0006.

Characteristics of hand-to-environment contact during indoor activities in daily life among Korean adults using a video-based observation method

  • 1Department of Nursing, College of Life Science and Natural Resources, Sunchon National University, Suncheon, Korea
  • 2Department of Nursing, College of Nursing and Public Health, Daegu University, Daegu, Korea
  • 3College of Nursing, Research Institute of Nursing Science, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea


The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics of hand-to-environmental contact (HEC) and to identify the factors influencing HEC behavior in Korean adults’ indoor daily life.
Thirty participants were enrolled from January 14 to February 12, 2018 after providing informed consent for being videotaped. Data were collected by recording their indoor daily lives for 2 hours, resulting in 4,732 HEC cases. To ensure the accuracy and reliability of the HEC readings, 3 training sessions were conducted for the videotape readers. Rereading and verifying randomly selected data ensured the validity of intra- and inter-reader readings.
The most frequent contact items were phones, papers, computer accessories, and furniture surfaces. The contact density (frequency-duration/min) was highest for category II (items occasionally shared by others, 56.8), followed in descending order by category I (items for individual use, 35.9), and category III (public use items, 3.4). Significant differences in contact density were found according to participants’ demographic characteristics.
As mobile phones were the most frequent contact item, regular and strict mobile phone cleansing or disinfection strategies are needed, in addition to preventative measures taken for category II and III items. Avoiding sharing personal items with others, refraining from unnecessary HEC, and maintaining strict hand hygiene are recommended.


Activities of daily living; Contact tracing; Disease transmission; Environment; Hand hygiene
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