Being sick is one of the most uncomfortable feelings someone can have and occurs pretty frequently. The only way to prevent these is to make sure you take certain measures to decrease the enormous amount of germs that surround us. The sources of these illnesses are more common than you think and are almost unavoidable. Here are 6 places you encounter on a daily basis that are home to the most germs.
1. The Office. The most dangerous place for germs in your office is actually your very own desk. According to researchers at the University of Arizona, Office desks are home to hundreds of times more bacteria per square inch than do the toilet seats in your office. Make sure you wipe down your desk, phone, computer and keyboard with disinfectant at least once a day. This will do more than you think. The second most dangerous place in the office is the break room’s refrigerator. According to American Dietetic Association, 44% of office refrigerators are cleaned on a monthly basis, and 22 percent are cleaned only once a year. Spills or leaks turn into a tropical honeymoon getaway for bacteria that can become infected before lunch time. I hope you wash your hands before and after you eat, if not, this may be a good time to start.
2. Public Restrooms. No shocker here. Studies at the University of Colorado found that at least 19 groups of bacteria, including Staph, are found in public restrooms. Despite what you may think, the sink is the most dangerous due to its usual dampness that allows bacteria to thrive. The second most dangerous place in a bathroom for bacteria is the hand dryer. A study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology discovered that drying your hands under a traditional dryer can propel the amount of bacteria on your skin by up to 45 percent. It may not be the most environmentally sound idea but using paper towels to dry off your hands will help you stay healthy.
3. The Bank. According to studies at the University of Michigan, 95% of people wash their hands improperly. A study at the University of Arizona found that each button on an ATM carries an average of 1,200 germs. These include germs for E. coli, cold, and the flu. The second most bacteria infected part of the bank is cash. It may be a good idea to keep some sanitizer in your car because, according to scientists at Oxford University, each bill contains an average of 26,000 bacteria
4. The Grocery Store. Shopping carts are the most bacteria infected source in a grocery store, not only from other shoppers and kids, but the food can could possible leak onto the cart. To be more specific, raw meat. A good tip to prevent this is to wrap packages of meat in a plastic bag before putting them into your cart. Another danger that is not quite environmentally sound is the use of reusable shopping bags. Although you are doing positive things for the environment it’s very possible that you’re toting around bacteria to and from the store. According to studies at the University of Arizona, 90% of people do no wash their reusable bags regularly. These studies found coliform and E. coli bacteria in almost every bag they sampled. If you aren’t going to wash your bags, at least have designated bags for meat and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination.
5. Hotels. God bless the housekeeping staff but they can only do so much. The two most dangerous places in a hotel room for bacteria is the TV remote and light switches, according to studies at the University of Houston. The next dangerous home to bacteria is the maid’s cleaning cart. These carts carry a massive amount of bacteria. On top of that these carts enter multiple rooms and can carry the bacteria with them. A tip here is if you are only staying a couple days, put out the Do Not Disturb and wipe down the room yourself.
6. The Gym. As you can imagine, the gym is a big source of bacteria being transferred from one individual to the other. According to One study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, 63% of gym equipment contains cold-virus bacteria. Overall, an average 73% of weight equipment and 51% of aerobic equipment are contaminated inside of a gym. Another scary statistic is that disinfecting the equipment twice a day does nothing to decrease contamination Itss suggested that you take matters into your own hands and use sanitizer in between sets.
It is clear that all of these places are a huge part of our lives. However, these places do not need to be the source of our downfall, as well as our peers. It will be beneficial to not only yourself, but to others as well to sanitize your hands regularly. This will prevent everyone from getting sick and passing bacteria from one place to another. We recommend you read more into this article, as well as the countless others at Men’s Health.