Office Hygiene: 5 Mistakes That Are Making You Ill

Offices don't have to be cold and flu hotbeds

Most Popular

When one person in the office gets a cold or a stomach bug it feels inevitable that anyone sitting within close proximity will also get ill. Research from SCA suggest that one in 10 workers believe their health has been compromised by poor workplace hygiene.
Just under half of those surveyed believe they have passed on an
illness contracted at work to another member of their family. But
offices don't need to be cold and flu hotbeds. The answer to fewer colds is rather simple and relies on pure common sense.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Professor Sally Bloomfield, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine reveals the office hygiene habits making us ill and what to do about it…

Mistake 1: Not thinking outside the box (read: office)

It might seem like bugs are spread in the office, but the problem doesn't necessarily start there. Professor Bloomfield explains:

"To
get in to the office, people are regularly travelling on crowded public
transport, where they're sharing surfaces - or breathing in the same
air. The sheer volume of people coming in close contact with each other
allows for easier spread."

Most Popular

Boost your hygiene: "We
tend to get the office and our hands don't look dirty, but they could
be. If you come in from the outside, wash or sanitise your hands."

Mistake 2: Assuming poor hygiene is about other people

You
can't rely on other people in the office to practice good hygiene. For
the most part, practicing good, sensible personal hygiene at work should prevent you from getting sick – and others as a result. Professor Bloomfield says:

"Not
understanding that it's anything to do with you is the biggest mistake
you can make when it comes to office hygiene. The germs got on to
surfaces somehow, so it's about taking responsibility."

Boost your hygiene:
"As an individual you can stop germs spreading by being hygienic in the
times and places that matter. Practice good respiratory hygiene (catch
it, bin it, kill it), making sure hankies or tissues aren't around for
anyone else to pick up and then immediately wash your hands. Practice
good toilet hygiene and wash hands thoroughly. Ensure surfaces are kept
clean. But most of all, be aware when you're infected. If you've got to
come in to the office and you have a cold take responsibility about what
you do."

Mistake 3: Underestimating how resilient viruses are

Viruses and germs
are like the Bear Grylls of the office and have developed strategies of
how to easily survive in the workplace environment. Professor
Bloomfield says:

"Viruses can use
all different ways to get from one person to another. We're talking
about very small numbers, particularly with the norovirus. When we vomit
we can vomit something of the order of a thousand million particles,
and as little as 10 can infect us."

Boost your hygiene: "If you've had the norovirus,
you might feel perfectly well but studies have shown people could be
excreting the virus in their faeces for up to 2 weeks after. So if
you've been infected, be very rigorous with hand hygiene around going to
the toilet for at least two weeks after."

Mistake 4: Not spending enough on good hygiene practice

The
same SCA survey revealed that 40% of respondents reported taking up to a
week off work because of poor hygiene levels in the workplace.
Professor Bloomfield says:

"It
makes financial sense to make things like hand santiser readily
available, particularly in the winter months when bugs are floating
around."

Boost your hygiene:
"Office managers should make sure the toilets are pleasant places to
use and fully equipped to facilitate good hygiene and handwashing and
that hand santiser is available. Having a bottle of hand sanitiser on
your desk acts as a prompt. Plus ensuring cleaners take all hand
surfaces seriously, not just wiping them but disinfecting them."

Mistake 5: Not paying attention to the right surfaces

Taking
an antibacterial wipe to your keyboard or mouse won't do any harm, but
it won't necessarily stop you getting ill. Professor Bloomfield says:

"Don't
think about 'Where do germs lurk?' as it's obvious. People worry about
keyboards, but if you're the only one that's been using it, there
shouldn't be a problem. Viruses do not grow in the environment they only
grow in living cells, and use our environment to get from one person to
another via hands and surfaces."

Boost your hygiene: "If
it's a door handle, a tap handle, the buttons on a photocopier. It's
the contact surfaces that we share with the rest of the office."

Via

What do you think?

Life
Share
The Exact Time You Should Eat Dinner to Lose More Weight !!!
Skip all the myths, because this one is approved by scientists.
Life
Share
10 Sex Tips From Bollywood Movies That You Should *Never* Ever Follow!
Disclaimer: Do not take these tips seriously, unless you're in a Bollywood movie.
Life
Share
8 Genius Tricks That'll Help You Lose Weight Every Day!
#3 is something you definitely need to know about!
Life
Share
No Time For a Vacay? Here's What You Can Do...
#Vacaymode: ON!
Life
Share
If You're Big On Italian, You're Going To Love This Place...
Get your Tiramisu spoons ready!
Life
Share
"Whoever Said Feminism Was the Opposite of Femininity?"
Six incredible women share their perspective on the 'F' word...
Life
Share
9 Miraculous Workout Moves to Get the 'Best Body' in 1 Minute!
An ultimate guide to #InstaFitness!
Life
Share
Here Are 12 Funniest Reactions to the Snapchat Fiasco!
Poor or not, we're def rich in humour!
Life
Share
5 Secret Tips Every Fit Girl Follows!
Thank us later...
Life
Share
Get a Flat Stomach Super-Quick With This ONE Exercise
Recommended by Harvard doctors, this effective move doesn't even require the gym or any equipments!