A series of janitor insights and knowledge we’ve gathered during our 26 years of experience OFFICE BACTERIA……………DID YOU KNOW………….

Millions of us spend our days working feverishly over a keyboard. But, lurking between the keys, hidden on the mouse, and nestled in your telephone are more than 10 million bacteria – 400 times more than found on a toilet seat!

According to Dr. Lisa Ackerley, hygiene expert and visiting professor at the University of Salford, ‘Unhygienic working conditions are a ‘key contributor’ to the 131 million of working days lost each year in the UK (and millions more around the world) to illnesses, colds and flu.’ Dr. Ackerley believes better hygiene measures could reduce this number significantly.

The typical office worker comes into contact with 10 million bacteria at their desks each day, with the average keyboard harboring 7,500 bacteria. Dr. Ackerley said studies have found more than 3,000 organisms per square inch on a keyboard and more than 1,600 on a computer mouse… but 20 percent of all workers never clean their computer mouse! One in five workers fail to clean their workspace before eating, while two out of three eat lunch at their desk.

‘Bacteria and viruses multiply on hard surfaces, remaining infectious for up to 24 hours and the average desk is a prime breeding ground for infections. Approximately 80% of common infections are transmitted by touch,’ so she urges people to regularly disinfect desks, telephones, keyboards and their computer mouse.

‘Our hands are a germ motorway,’ Dr Ackerley told MailOnline. ‘The slightest cough or sneeze into our hands and the germs start their journey through the office. If one member of the office fails to wash their hands, colleagues can pick up bacteria by touching the same door handles and surfaces. Those organisms then risk being transferred when people touch their eyes or mouths, causing colds, coughs, flu, norovirus, or food poisoning.’

Surveys show nearly 50 percent of office workers don’t wash their hands after using the restroom. ‘There is no excuse,’ Dr. Ackerley said. ‘Those people bypassing the sink are spreading germs all around the office. From the moment you touch the toilet flush and door handles, you are at risk of picking up bacteria. Even the soap dispenser can pose a threat. These organisms are completely invisible. That is why it is so important for everyone to take responsibility for their own personal hygiene. It is really important to wash your hands.’

‘Employees should also wash their hands when arriving at work, particularly if they have been on public transport. Just 20 seconds of handwashing can stop the journey of a germ … and ensuring hands are thoroughly dry after washing them is equally important,’ she added.

An anti-bacterial disinfectant spray is ideal to kill off the bacteria and viruses that can live for up to 24 hours on hard surfaces. Dr. Ackerley recommends using a hand sanitizer several times during the day, on your hands and on your desk.

‘Cleaning in offices should include surfaces that come into contact with anyone’s hands. It is important to mop the floors, but focus should be on desks, sinks, handles, office equipment, anywhere we put our hands – they are the surfaces that are likely to be really dirty. We all have a responsibility.’

Stay healthy and call Interstate Corporation at 215-675-8500 for a deep cleaning quote now!