In the depths of winter, everyone is run down and more susceptible to catching the common cold, but there are easy ways that greatly lower your chance of becoming ill, simply by improving hand hygiene.
A single bacterium has the potential to multiply into more than eight million cells in under 12 hours in the right conditions. What’s more, most office worker’s hands come into contact with 10 million bacteria per day.
However, proper handwashing can decrease 80% of bacteria present on hands and reduce the risk of illness by 50%. We have put together 4 hand hygiene mistakes to help you cope with flu season.
- Failure to wash hands often enough is such an obvious but commonly overlooked problem, an anonymous monitoring of 100,000 people across Europe shows that only 38% of men and 60% of women wash their hands after going to the toilet.
- Not washing hands for long enough is a real issue, as hands should be washed thoroughly for 20-30 seconds using soap and water, and dried properly. Only 31% of people wash their hands for over 20 seconds every time.
- Using a phone while on the toilet is a definite way to cross contaminate germs onto your smart-phone. Despite washing hands afterwards, it is very unlikely that people sanitise their phones after each bathroom visit, despite a third of people using their smartphone on the toilet.
- Neglecting to clean shared equipment while hot-desking (when office workers swap desks every day) leads to germs spreading around office much more quickly than if people simply sanitised their desks at the start of each day. In shared desk environments, there is a 41% higher microbiological reading than there is in fixed-desk offices.
If these rules are maintained, the winter season should (hopefully) pass with you feeling flu-free and fresh.