These Are The Germiest Places In An Office

Businesswoman leading meeting with colleagues

Photo: Thomas Barwick / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Many of us can’t imagine starting the work day without heading to the office kitchen to fill up a cup of coffee and maybe warm up some breakfast before heading to our desk. That’s a lot of doorknobs, coffee pots, buttons and surfaces we’re touching in the process and they could be covered in germs. According to infectious disease doctor Gabriela Andujar Vazquez, these surfaces could be exposing us to everything from RSV to the common cold, E. coli, salmonella and more.

These are the worst parts of the office, when it comes to germs and bacteria, according to experts:

  • Your desk - Your personal workspace is still probably touched by other people, and it’s probably also exposed to airborne and droplet microbes, and chances are, it’s rarely cleaned.
  • Your keyboard - Monday to Friday, your fingers are all over this thing, which can be covered in germs. “Over 3,000 organisms can be found per square inch on a keyboard,” explains Dr. Ron Brown, a 20-year emergency medical physician. And if you eat at your desk without washing your hands before touching your keyboard, you could be transferring that bacteria to your mouth, too.
  • Door handles - Everyone’s touching them all day long, which adds up to a lot of potential germs. “Doorknobs, by far, are the germiest places in an office because of the sheer number of hands touching them daily,” says Dr. Dhaval Desai.
  • The shared microwave or fridge - Office break rooms are high-traffic areas with people coming and going all day long, heating up leftovers or grabbing stuff from the refrigerator. Desai notes that they’re also vulnerable because we touch these surfaces right before we eat.
  • The water fountain - Staying hydrated is important, but some studies suggest workplace water coolers are hot spots for bacteria.
  • The bathroom - They get a lot of use and they’re usually not cleaned as often as we clean our bathrooms at home. That means more bacteria exposure for you and your phone, if you bring it in there with you.
  • Elevator buttons - Another high-traffic area, these can be breeding grounds for bacteria and germs. Experts even advise touching the buttons with something other than your bare hands, just to be safe.
  • Vending machines - Dr. Brown says these are one of the germiest places because they get so much traffic and are rarely cleaned, so always wash your hands after touching one before you eat.

Read the article at Huff Post

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