During these highly sanitized, anti-bacterial times, most of us consider ourselves to be at least somewhat germ savvy. We get flu shots. We wash our hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water AND soap. If we're gonna be stuck on an airplane in the middle of a crowded shopping mall during the height of flu season we might pop some extra vitamin C or take some other kind of immune-boosting supplement, just to be safe. But an average day at the office is no reason to go on high cootie alert, right?
WRONG! Wrong, wrong, wrong. According to a study so recent the results haven't even been published yet, your place of work is one of the most ick-infested spots ever -- and what's worse, those nasty bugs always show up early!
Researchers found that just four hours into the day, over half of office surfaces tested positive for traces of cold and flu viruses (by the end of the day, 70% of surfaces tested positive for traces of stomach flu virus, which lives longer outside the body than cold or flu). Ewww! And you know what's worse? Those surfaces aren't necessarily the surfaces you might expect! Here are the top 8 offenders, in no particular order:
1. Coffee pot handle
6. Elevator buttons
7. Microwave/Refrigerator door handles
8. Sink faucet handles
See what I mean? Doorknobs, sink faucet handles, phones ... okay, no surprises there. But coffee pot and microwave door handles?! Makes sense, but who would've thought? Is there no escape?!
Well, no. But when researchers did a follow-up study, they found that giving employees free tissues, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes lowered their risk of becoming infected with office nasties to 10%. So, back to those germ-savvy habits!