The 3 Dirtiest Workplace Objects That Can Get You Sick
1. Smartphones. These small devices are the perfect storm of bacterial growth. We touch them all throughout the day, we rarely clean them (and when we do, not satisfactorily), and they’re always in our pockets where it’s warm, dark, and moist.
According to a 2013 study by Which?:
On one particularly dirty tablet, we found a swab count of 600 units per swab for Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause a severe stomach bug.
To put this figure in context, the Health Protection Agency classes any count of between 20 and 10,000 units for Staphylococcus aureus as a potential risk. By comparison, a typical toilet seat we tested had a Staphylococcus count of less than 20 units.
2. Keyboards and mice. While keyboards and mice aren’t anywhere near as dirty as smartphones, they’re still extremely dirty. The weird thing is that we’ve all heard this before, but how many of us regularly wipe ours down with cleaning solution? Not enough, that’s for sure.
According to a 2012 study by Kimberly-Clark Professional:
The device does not specifically detect germs, although dirty surfaces do provide a breeding ground for bacteria. Overall, the study got “could-be-cleaner” readings of over 100 on … 69% of keyboards … and 51% of computer mice.
3. Workstation desktops. How often do you clean your office desk? Not in the “get rid of clutter” sense, but “spray and wipe” sense. Most people barely even disinfect their home workstations once or twice a year. Office workstations? Usually never.
According to a 2001 study by the University of Arizona, the average desktop has over 400 times the bacteria of an average toilet seat. On top of that, the area where you rest your hand harbors more than 10 million germs.
Never get a glass desk it was an awful decision for my last place. Mouse movements didnt pick up and it was super easy to get dirty.
— Sleepy?? (@SleepyJirachi) October 8, 2015
Other dirty office surfaces include: workstation phones, coffee pot and microwave handles in break rooms, water fountain dispensers, and vending machine buttons.
How often do you wash your hands? Did you realize how dirty these surfaces could be? Share with us in the comments below!
Image Credit: Dirty Keyboard by Dewitt via Shutterstock
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