Top 10 Germiest Places At Work

If you've pumped gas, used a grocery cart, or touched an escalator handrail, you've come into contact with a few of our most germ-ridden public places. But what about less public spots, like your office? Turns out that's a hot bed of bacteria too. Before cold and flu season gets into full swing, let's take a look at the top 10 germiest places at work.

1. Office Phone - According to University of Arizona research, your office phone gets coated with bacteria from your mouth and hands, harboring about 25,000 germs per square inch. Yikes!

2. Keyboard and Mouse - Unavoidable and constantly touched.

3. Desktop - Most of us don't wipe down our desktop before and after eating lunch or a snack, yet food particles can be a breeding ground. And if you place your purse or briefcase on top of your desk, you've just added to the petri dish.

4. Fax and Copier Machines - While the toilet seat gets regular cleaning, have you seen anyone sanitize these recently?

5. Communal Kitchen Items - The communal coffee pot, refrigerator, and microwave are all laden with illness-causing germs.

6. Water Cooler - The spout rarely gets disinfected and you often see people filling their already used water bottles or cups with it, sometimes touching the spout directly.

7. Shared Pens - You might want to think twice about letting a co-worker use your pen. On average, surface germs lurk for up to 72 hours.

8. Common Areas - Conference room armrests, doorknobs, light switches, and railings, touched by many hands and cleaned only occasionally, if that.

9. Vending Machine - Beware the innocent vending machine. Fingers, money, and food - a great combination for harboring potential pathogens. Neither the vendor filling it nor the cleaning crew wipe down this germy beast.

10. Elevator Buttons - There's a reason you see people using their elbow to press their floor.

Even the cleanest person comes into contact with various bugs and bacteria on a daily basis. While frequent hand washing remains your best defense, add an extra layer of protection by using disinfectant wipes on frequently touched items and keeping a hand sanitizer available. And, just in case the bug bites, be sure to have a fresh supply of cold and flu medicine on hand. With these tips in mind, you can stay strong and healthy this season and all year long.



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