Doorknobs, keyboards and four other spots in offices that are loaded with germs
It is said that if a sick person comes to the office with the flu, the virus would be on all of the office equipment by lunchtime. An average person spends anywhere between 7 to 12 hours at work. So it's no wonder workplaces have their own set of germ microbeds. Sure, toilets are one of them but what if we tell you there are germier places much closer to you? While they may not be as apparent, these places could be potential sources of infections.
Here are 6 of such areas in your office that you may need to sanitise before using:
Public washrooms are undoubtedly one of the best places for microbes to thrive. Scientists have found bacteria like E. coli, Staph and Pseudomonas in office toilets. Every time you flush, these bacteria become airborne and the bacterial load gradually increases through the day. Airborne bacteria in toilets can stay in the air for up to 8 minutes after you flush and can potentially transmit infections. Though more research is still needed to assess the risk.
2. Your desk and keyboard
The desk is where you spend a major part of your day. It shares everything from tiny bits of your foods (which then becomes a meal for microbes) to germs when you get sick. According to an article on South Source, an online resource by the South University, Georgia, USA, a computer keyboard has 200 times more germs than a toilet seat. Your desk is even worse. Yes, right where you keep all your stuff and rest your arms as well as your head.
Use disinfectant wipes for keyboards and a disinfectant cleaner for the desk.
3. Office phones
Almost every shared equipment in the office harbours a lot of germs but the telephones are one of the worst. Researchers say that an office telephone has more than 25,000 germs per square inch.
So, if you have to regularly use the phone, make sure to sanitise the telephone before and your palms afterwards.
4. Elevator buttons
A research done in 2014 found that elevator buttons are one of the germiest places in hospitals, a place which is supposed to be the cleanest. Though the study mentioned that the hospital elevator bacteria were not infectious, the condition is bound to be a lot worse in an office. Countless people use the elevator every day, leaving almost every kind of germ on the buttons. If you don’t want to get sick, try to take the stairs or use your knuckles.
5. Kitchen sponge
The mightly kitchen sponge soaks in almost every germ in your office; after all, it’s used to clean every used cup. In August 2017, a microbiologist at Furtwangen University in Germany said that a wide variety of microbes on a kitchen sponge at homes. Though he did not say that all of these are pathogenic, he did mention that the bacteria are not destroyed by a single cycle in the dishwasher. If you want to wipe your cup, it is better to use a disposable paper towel.
Door handles and knobs are used hundreds of time in a day, not just by the employees but by visitors too. Quite obviously, they act as a huge source of infection. Researchers have found bacteria like E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and norovirus (causes stomach flu) on doorknobs in hospitals. Regular disinfection may decrease some of the microbial load. However, considering that a lot of people don’t wash their hands properly after using the loo, it is best to not touch the door handle if possible.
For more information, please read our article on E. Coli Infections.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
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Updated Date: Dec 25, 2019 14:29:25 IST
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