Fist-bumps are officially better than handshakes and high-fives as a way of greeting or congratulating someone, scientists have announced.

Although bumping fists looks better than an uncoordinated smack of hands and is much more satisfying than limply shaking someone’s sweaty palm, the reason for its superiority is more down to safety than style.

This is because more fist-bumping could help reduce the spread of infectious diseases, academics at Aberystwth University in Wales have said.

Researchers came to the conclusion after a series of hand hygiene tests using rubber gloves and a thick layer of the potentially deadly bacteria E.coli.

According to the study, high doses of bugs were passed on during a handshake.

But that was reduced by more than half during a high-five and 90 per cent when bumping fists.

Dr Dave Whitworth, senior lecturer at Aberystwyth University, said: "People rarely think about the health implications of shaking hands. But if the general public could be encouraged to fist bump, there is a genuine potential to reduce the spread of infectious diseases."

The speed at which it is carried out and the smaller contact area were the reasons for the fist-bump being the cleanest gesture.