A new study reveals that Swedes are not so restrained and will hug just about anyone except their chief.
Nine out of 10 Swedes embrace somebody at least once a week, with women aged 30-44 being the most active huggers, according to the study presented Thursday by the Swedish Red Cross.
About 70 percent of the 1,036 people interviewed between Nov. 5-8 said they had hugged their partner or spouse that week, while 59 percent said they had hugged a friend or acquaintance.
One-quarter had hugged a work colleague of the same sex, while 14 percent had embraced a co-worker of the opposite gender.
Only 4 percent hugged their boss.
The study by the Synovate polling institute also found that there is a certain etiquette to Swedish hugging traditions.
More than 80 percent said it was appropriate to hug a person in mourning, while 55 percent said they would hug a stranger who had just found their wallet.
Sixty percent said hugging a vague acquaintance at a party was not OK.