It’s that time of year. If you’d like to stop colds and flu from sweeping through your office, take a look at this list of prevention tips we have compiled.
1. Don’t Shake Hands!
The day I met my husband I was a sneezing, sniffing, red nosed mess with a bad cold. I had just refused to shake someone’s hands. Unfortunately, they didn’t understand me when I tried to explain I why. So a few minutes later, when being introduced to the man who would be my husband, I just shook his hand….and gave him my cold. He forgives me
2. Hands off your face!
You’re still going to shake hands, aren’t you? And you will have to touch things all day. So please try to remember not to touch your face! Finger to eye and finger to nose contact get the nasties into your nasal passage, where they get to work making you sick!
3. Wash Your Hands
I studied nursing when I left high school. An experience that left me with a strong appreciation of the work nurses do and a clear realisation that I wasn’t cut out for it.
One thing I still remember is the heavy emphasis on preventing the spread of illness through hand washing. We did a science experiment where we put our hands in a petri dish and left them for a while. When we checked them later and everyone’s petri dish was full of gross looking nasties (just like the photo above). Except mine. I had just washed my hands before this activity.
Christopher Tolcher, MD, a pediatrician in the Los Angeles area says, “I probably wash my hands 40 to 50 times a day.”
4. But what if I can’t be in the bathroom all day?
Hand Sanitizer! It’s not always practical or possible to wash your hands with soap and water. Hand sanitizers are a God send. You can keep them on your desk and/or in your bag and use regularly. There are germs all over your keyboard and you pick up germs when touching door knobs, shaking hands etc. Dettol Healthy Touch kills 99.99% of germs without water!
Alcohol wipes, of course! Every we touch becomes covered in germs (have another look at that petri dish photo!)
The keyboard, mouse, door knob, pens, telephone and so on. Neil Schachter, MD, a professor of medicine in New York states, “I have antiseptic wipes, and I regularly clean my desktop and my phone,” Tolcher says. “I clean my stethoscope and even my pens with alcohol every day.”
My parents also swear by Portuguese Macieira Brandy, but that could just be because it’s really, really nice.
6. Clear the Air
99.97% of airborne particles and impurities as small as 0.03 microns, including mould spores, germs, viruses, pollen, dust mites, most airborne particles and allergies.
Many of us work in an environment with no opening windows. While this design feature helps to conserve energy, the downside to this is that they also effectively trap the air inside them and are dependent on air conditioning systems for their ventilation. With so many people now stuck indoors like this for long periods of time, a 2015 Harvard University report identified that “the indoor built environment plays a critical role in our overall wellbeing”, and an Australian study demonstrated a strong link between the frequency of illnesses and time spent in unhealthy indoor environments, of which they suspect to be “half of the office buildings in Australia.
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