Many of you reading this now will be sitting in an office. On the surface it probably looks fairly clean, however, look closer and everything changes. There could be millions of bacteria that are resting on almost every surface in your workplace.
One of the most surprising figures to come out of the many studies is that the average desk harbors more than 400x more bacteria than your toilet! And that the area where you rest your hand alone can contain more than 10,000,000 bacteria. Still fancy eating that sandwich at your desk?
Tests carried out at the London offices of consumer group found equipment carrying bacteria that can cause food poisoning and other illnesses. During the tests they swabbed 33 keyboards of which 4 were marked as potential health hazards and one was so dirty that they ordered it to be quarantined and cleaned. It had 150 times the recommended acceptable limit for bacteria, five times more than a toilet seat tested at the same time!
The equipment was swabbed for bugs that can cause food poisoning, such as E.Coli and staphylococcus aureus. Nasty stuff! But, not every bacteria is bad for you. Out of the billion different types of bacteria, most are known as ‘good bacteria’. These are used in antibiotics and some food that can help fight disease. In reality – only about 50 types are known to make you ill.
Over £11.7 billion is lost each year in the UK due to sickness absence! While it can’t all be attributed to dirty desks and keyboards, they all contribute.
We’ve put together some helpful simple tips to keep you and your office healthy!
- Ensure surfaces are wiped down and sanitized regularly
- Wash your hands often
- Try not to eat at your desk
- Place sanitizer in an easy to reach and high traffic place in your office
- Encourage employees to stay at home if they’re ill
Check out the full infographic below for the dirty facts of your office.
Written By: David H Conway