Could your office be making you sick?

Office environments often bring together large numbers of people, so it may not be surprising that you can catch illnesses from your colleagues at work. However, there are many other ways that your office could cause you to get sick.

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Your office building

Back in 1986, the World Health Organisation recognised Sick Building Syndrome. This is where factors in the working environment, such as poor ventilation, can cause a higher-than-average level of sickness and absenteeism among staff. There are also many other elements of your office environment that could make you sick.

Your desk

The average office desk hosts over 10 million germs, which is approximately 400 times more than are found on an average toilet seat. Sitting in close proximity to so many bacteria can easily cause illness, so desks should be wiped twice per week using an antibacterial wipe.

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Office fridge

It’s not uncommon for communal fridges to contain spillages or food that is rotting. If left uncleaned, this can pose a significant health risk, so it is important that offices fridges are thoroughly cleaned at least every couple of days. If you are looking for commercial cleaners Leicester has many options, such as those available from

Your headset

Telephone headsets are in close contact with hair fibres, sweat and earwax, making them an ideal environment for bacteria. In fact, it has been shown that bacteria levels can increase 700 times after one hour of use. It is recommended that you wipe down your headset at least once each day with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab and avoid sharing headsets if at all possible.

Your keyboard

Keyboards are regularly touched throughout the day, so they pick up any bacteria that might have been on your hands. In addition, the gaps between keys collect skin cells and crumbs of food that can feed bacterial proliferation. Those gaps can be tricky to clean, but regularly shaking out your keyboard can make a big difference. A more high-tech solution could be to invest in a small keyboard vacuum; these are often available from gadget shops.

Printer and copy machines

The average office printer or copy machine is touched as many as 300 times each day by multiple people, making their keypads or interfaces prime places for bacteria and germs to spread around the office.


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