Six ways to avoid the dreaded office lurgy
It’s lurking on the lift button, it’s hiding out on your keyboard and it’s definitely hanging around the water cooler. It’s the dreaded office lurgy, and it’s out there right now ready to make its move on you. With so many people sneezing and coughing in the office, sometimes it feels inevitable that you’ll succumb and fall victim at least once this cold and flu season. But here’s six things you can do to avoid of getting sick, and stay healthy throughout the coming winter months.
1. Wash your hands
This is probably the single most effective thing you can do to reduce the spread of germs around the office and indeed, at home. Make sure you wash your hands after going to the toilet, before preparing or eating food and after blowing your nose. But a quick splash under the tap is not going to cut it. According to the World Health Organization, you should wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds for it to be worth your while (tip: singing “Happy Birthday” twice takes about 20 seconds). If your hands aren’t visibly dirty, you can use a hand sanitizer instead. In fact, keep a bottle of sanitizer on your desk at work and one in your bag so that you can quickly rid yourself of any nasties throughout the day.
2. Avoid communal areas
You may think that the person coughing up a lung next to you is bound to infect you with their disease, but most germs are actually passed through hand or surface contact, and not through the air. Germs are tough little dudes, and they can quite happily live on a hard surface for a day. And even though you may spend most of your day at your desk, it is surprising just how many things you end up touching. The biggest hotspots around the office are bathroom door handles, the microwave control panel, the coffee pot handle, lift buttons and the water cooler. If you can’t avoid these areas, make sure you wash or sanitize your hands after any contact.
3. Try not to touch your face
Germs don’t penetrate through your skin, they invade your body through skin cuts, or your mouth, nose or eyes. Cover up any skin abrasions, and try not to touch your face throughout the day, especially after you’ve come in contact with a surface area that may be infected.
4. Keep your distance from sick co-workers
This can be a little tricky, especially if you’re forced to sit in a meeting with a co-worker whose nose is running like a tap. You’ll need to show a little social grace here, but try to sit on the other side of the meeting room or wait for the next lift if you can. And don’t be a martyr, take a sick day yourself when needed or ask if you can work from home.
5. Boost your immune system by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables
A diet high in fruit and vegetables keeps your immune system strong, and even if you do succumb to a germ, you’ll fight it off a lot quicker than if you’re run down. Citrus fruits, like mandarins and oranges, are full of vitamin C and can reduce the time you are sick and how sick you get. It’s hard to overdose on vitamin C – your body will just get rid of what it doesn’t need – so dose up. Don’t just limit yourself to citrus either – there’s plenty of vitamin C rich food such as strawberries, kiwifruit, apples and leafy greens.
To help keep you and your colleagues on track throughout winter, BuyFruit can deliver a fruit box to your office each week so there’s no excuse not to get your fill of vitamins.
6. Drink lots of water
Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day by drinking eight glasses of water to flush out any baddies that do happen to make it into your system. Have a water bottle at your desk so that you are reminded to sip throughout the day. And the added benefit of having your own water bottle – you can avoid that germ-invested water cooler!
Want more info on how to order your office fruit box? Visit BuyFruit at www.buyfruit.com.au and one of our friendly staff will help get you started.