London: Britons seem to be shedding their traditional reserve. They are doing away with greeting each other with a formal handshake and have started preferring a casual hug or a peck on the cheek in its place, a study has found.

Nearly half of the Britons no longer offer to shake hands with people they meet, with 12 per cent preferring a peck on the cheek or not bothering with a greeting at all. Almost a third of those in a survey said they go straight in for a hug and shaking hands with friends is definitely out, a daily reported.

One in five said they feel the custom of handshake is "too formal", while 42 per cent said it is only appropriate in a business setting. There are also many who find unhygienic, with one in 12 of those questioned saying they worried about germs.

Over half of the men said they hug their mates, with 15 per cent admitting to planting a kiss on their best buddy. Almost a quarter of men believe that a firm handshake is an "outdated display of masculinity".

Nick Wilcher, marketing manager at Radox which polled 1,000 adults in its survey, said: "It is interesting to see how the British publics are falling out of favour with the handshake."

(Agencies)

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