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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:01 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:06 am
Posts: 454

10 million disease-promoting bacteria are lurking on your keyboard and desk
by: J. D. Heyes
bacteria, sick days, computer keyboards

The world is a dirty place, as most of us are aware, but some places are dirtier than others - and some are more dirty than we realize. Take your office desk and computer keyboard; who would have thought they could be such harbingers of disease?


Okay, well, nothing that is really life-threatening, granted. But in a recent study, researchers did find that in a number of cases, your desk can be dirtier than your bathroom.

Your keyboard is dirtier than your toilet seat

As reported by Britain's Daily Mail newspaper:

Millions of us spend our days slaving over a keyboard. But lurking between the keys, hidden on the mouse and nestled in your phone lies more than 10 million bacteria - 400 times more than on the average toilet seat.

Non-hygienic working conditions, in fact, are a "key contributor" to hundreds of millions of lost working days in the UK, the U.S. and around the world, because they contribute to the spread of flu and cold viruses, among other illnesses.

And what's more, researchers noted, the bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces like keyboards, computer mice and desks, will multiply voraciously, remaining infectious for as long as a full 24 hours, according to hygiene expert and visiting professor at the University of Salford in Greater Manchester, England, Dr. Lisa Ackerley, in an interview with the paper's online edition.

'Half don't wash up after using the bathroom'

Ackerley explained that the average desk serves as a prime breeding environment for infections. She has urged workers to routinely clean and disinfect their desks, keyboards, telephones and computer mice (using a natural disinfectant instead of using a chemical disinfectant you typically find at the store).

The expert further explained that better cleaning of desks and overall improved hygiene measures would likely result in "significantly fewer sick days."

A new infographic fully reveals the stark reality of the study's findings, and how important it can be to regularly disinfect your workspace.

For instance, the graphic - which is based on the findings of Ackerley and her team - shows that one in five workers don't clean their workspace before eating, and two in three eat lunch in front of their computers. One in five - 20 percent - never clean their computer mouse, and about 80 percent of the most common infections are spread by contact.

"Our hands are a germ motorway," Ackerley told the Daily Mail. "The slightest cough or sneeze into our hands and the germs start their journey through the office."

"And if somebody doesn't wash their hands the bacteria or viruses can get on your hands, even if you [did]," she continued, as quoted by the paper.

The hygiene expert said that if just one person in an office environment fails to wash their hands, fellow colleagues are at risk of picking up their bacteria by touching some of the same surfaces, door handles, water fountain tabs, and so on.

Organisms can then be transferred between people when they touch their eyes, nose or mouth, resulting in a variety of conditions and illnesses like flu, colds, coughs, norovirus and even food poisoning.

'We all have a responsibility'

"Any surfaces your hands come into contact with are potential breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses," Ackerley said.

"From the moment you touch the toilet flush and cubicle door handle, you are at risk of picking up bacteria," she continued. "Even the soap dispenser can pose a threat. Even if you thoroughly wash your hands, if you touch the door handle on the way out, and it's been touched by someone who hasn't washed their hands you will pick up any residue bacteria.

'These organisms are completely invisible," she told the Daily Mail. "That is why it is so important everyone takes responsibility for their own personal hand hygiene. It is really important to wash your hands."

She further stated that a separate recent study found that an astounding 50 percent of office workers do not wash their hands after using the bathroom.

"There is no excuse," she said. "Those people bypassing the sink are spreading germs all around the office.

"We have all got a responsibility," she added.



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:44 pm 
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