3 Ways To Fight Back Office Germs

After reading this eye-opening article in Smart Money magazine, I thought I would share with you.  They say offices have always had their share of health hazards, sniffing coworkers, stress induced bosses, or that Petri dish of a shared refrigerator.  But just in time for spring flu season, new data shows workplaces are making us sicker than ever.   

Germs are everywhere of course it’s nearly impossible to determine where exactly you caught a bug, but experts say office germs are often to blame.  More than half of employees say they have gotten sick from an ailing coworker in the past year, a 2011 CarerrBuilder.com survey found.  The typical worker’s desk especially the phone, keyboard, and mouse has 400 more times the bacteria than the average toilet seat, according to Gerba’s research.  Cramped work stations can pose physical risks too.  Musculoskeletal disorders like carpel tunnel syndrome and back pain contributed to one-third of workers’ compensation claims, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Ergonomics:  The Study of Work” report.  Employees are also reporting higher levels of stress than ever before, studies, and “stressed workers are more likely to become ill, become ill more frequently, and call in sick more often,” says Manhattan psychologist Joseph Cilona.

So fight back, here are three ways to keep you healthy.

1).  Gerba says that one of the best ways to prevent illness is to clean your desk, phone, and any other surfaces you touch each day with disinfecting wipes, as well as by making sure you wash your hands throughout the day.

2).     Sitting at your desk properly can help prevent these injuries.  Make sure that the height of your keyboard is such that your upper arm and forearm are curved at roughly a 90 degree angle, and that the height of your chair is high enough so your chest and upper thighs are also at a 90 degree angle, says Rutter.

3).  For stress try yoga and mediation, which if practiced regularly, can reduce levels of workplace stress by 10%, according to research from Ohio State University.  Stressed workers should also consider talking to colleagues who are in similar situations, as social support is an effective coping mechanism, says John M. Grohol, founder and CEO of PschCentral.com.  He also recommends other stress-busting habits like getting enough sleep, avoiding alcohol, and improving time-management skills.

I hope you found these tips to be helpful, it’s important to  keep the staff healthy and productive, it will save you time and money in the long run.


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Jennifer Ferri, Owner

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