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Office germs – it’s much worse than you thought!

Australians have become increasingly health conscious and according to IBISWorld, the trend is expected to continue over the next 5 years.

People are increasingly aware of the importance of physical activity, good nutrition, and the avoidance of harmful behaviours such as smoking and excessive alcohol intake.  In this environment, people are also acutely aware of ‘health stealing’ conditions such as colds, flu, and bacterial infections.

Unfortunately, many are still blasé when it comes to employing effective germ avoidance techniques.  Simple healthy habits like regularly washing your hands, avoiding touching your eyes/nose/mouth, and covering your mouth when coughing, can go a long way towards stopping the spread of germs and infection.

Another important weapon in your arsenal is knowing where germs lurk.  Most people clean and disinfect their homes, yet a person’s workplace is a considerably higher risk environment due to the time spent there and exposure to such a wide range of people and shared surfaces.

Your office or workplace may not be as hygienic as you think.  Germs (viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.), are ‘out of sight, out of mind’, so people often don’t give them much thought.   In fact, work environments are a breeding ground for germs, and your office, in particular, is riddled with invisible filth.

With nearly 80% of Australians having a workplace that includes an office component1, this issue is important for the health and productivity of the nation.  Workplace illness is a significant contributor to workplace inefficiency.  So where are these germs to be found?

 8 high germ zones found in offices include:

  • Telephones and headpieces
  • Door handles
  • Washroom tap handles
  • Computer keyboards
  • Computer mice
  • Mobile phones and tablets
  • Refrigerator and microwave door handles
  • Bins (edges and flaps)

Did you know? 2

  • The average workplace desk can be 400 times dirtier than the typical toilet seat
  • There are 16 million microbes on an average office keyboard
  • There are over 25,000 microbes per square inch found on the average office telephone
  • Your desk is likely to be about 100 times LESS hygienic than an average kitchen sink

That’s some mind-boggling stuff, but when you consider that nearly a third of people do not even wash their hands after visiting the toilet, it’s not exactly surprising.

So how are infections spread?

The majority of infections are spread via contact with contaminated surfaces NOT coughing or sneezing3.  Microbes that cause stomach bugs such as E. coli can survive on a surface for up to 7 days4, the common cold and influenza microbes last on a surface for more than 7 days5, and more serious germs such as Staph (MRSA) can survive for weeks to months on a surface6.

Think about it this way, every time you grab the office door handle, it is like shaking hands with every person that has also touched that same handle over the past few weeks/months.  That could be hundreds or even thousands of people!

The more that companies and employees understand the importance of keeping a hygienic office space, the less chance these nasties have of wreaking havoc with your health, not to mention company productivity.

The spread of viruses and bacteria through contact with common workplace surfaces is a serious health concern, and WOW Office Wipes bulk rolls are a handy antibacterial solution for companies and their employees.

Featuring a non-alcoholic antibacterial formula that kills bacteria and germs within 2 minutes, and made from 100% biodegradable bamboo fabric, WOW office wipes are designed to be a key weapon in your office hygiene arsenal.

*E.coli, S.aureus (MRSA)

1 https://www.convergeinternational.com.au/docs/default-source/research/a-future-that-works-2016-snapshot-of-the-australian-workplace

2 https://desktime.com/blog/how-dirty-is-your-office-desk-infographic

3 http://www.health.state.mn.us/handhygiene/why/5ways.pdf

4 http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/20/e-coli-mrsa-can-survive-for-days-on-planes/

5 https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/infections/how-long-do-bacteria-and-viruses-live-outside-the-body/

6 http://www.djj.state.fl.us/docs/health-services/environmental-management-of-mrsa.pdf?sfvrsn=0