(NBC News) Experts say one of the best ways to avoid catching the COVID-19 coronavirus is to avoid touching your face, but that can be tougher than it sounds.
"We touch our faces about 23 times per hour, on average," says Dr. James Pomerantz of Rice University.
That habit, ingrained in all of us, makes us even more vulnerable to illness.
"98% or more of all people that eventually will die of COVID-19 are not yet infected; they are going to be infected and they are going to be infected by touching their eyes, their nose or mouth with their fingers," Dr. Pomerantz warns.
Members of the Psychonomic Society believe viruses are spread through basic human behavior like shaking someone's hand or touching a doorknob without washing your hands.
According to Dr. Pomerantz, we can learn to change our behavior.
"One thing would be to have a friend gently remind you when you touch your face," he advises, and reciprocate when you notice him or her doing the same.
"One very effective technique is to keep your hands occupied otherwise - hold something in your hands," Dr. Pomerantz adds.
Another idea: Change your posture. Keep elbows off the table or sit in a chair without arm rests.
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