How to Combat Winter Germs in the Workplace
Office Chairs UK, 30/01/2018
The winter months are dreaded for many reasons. Combine the cold, wet and grey with the seemingly never-ending darkness, and you have the perfect recipe for gloom. Throw in the fact that it’s the peak of cold and flu season, and you can quickly understand why everyone is wishing for spring to arrive swiftly.
Winter germs and bugs are the bane of any office worker’s existence, as is evident by the internal groan when you realise that one of your colleagues is ill. The last thing you want is to pick up whatever lurgy they are carrying around. There are, however, a number of ways you can work to avoid picking up winter germs in the workplace.
Our blog walks you through top tips for boosting your immune system and making smart choices to avoid germs so you can stay healthy throughout the rest of winter.
Wash Your Hands
This might seem obvious, but we aren’t just talking about washing your hands after visiting the loo. When you put into context just how many germs there are in the workplace, you might rethink how thoroughly and frequently you wash your hands. For example, a recent study found that teabag tins have bacterial readings 17 times higher than a toilet seat!
For the best hand washing method, make sure you lather up with a good quality soap (antibacterial is no more powerful than regular soap) and scrub with warm water for at least twenty seconds. This should help you avoid germs from kitchens, toilets, door handles, keyboards, phones… this list is endless!
Avoid Touching Handles
Door handles, lift buttons, and refrigerator handles are also rife with bacteria. When possible, try not to touch these handles as the safest way to avoid coming into contact with germs that could make you ill. A long cardigan sleeve is the perfect way to avoid a handle, or you could always keep a tissue or hanky handy for this purpose.
Take Your Vitamins
To boost your immune system and help you avoid picking up germs, vitamins and some herbal remedies are your best friends. Echinacea is known to be helpful for fending off colds, while taking vitamin C and zinc tablets on a regular basis can help stave off the germs as well. Taking vitamin C once a cold has come on won’t help though. Vitamin D is also important, as a vitamin D deficiency can affect your immunity.
Do some research on which vitamins or supplements are best for you and make them part of your daily routine. This will help you fight off bugs and germs.
Don’t skimp on your five a day
A balanced diet is very important for a strong immune system, so it should come as no surprise that consistently eating fruits and vegetables is vital. These foods contain important vitamins and nutrients that can help you stay healthy. Eating leafy greens and vitamin C rich fruits will help keep your immune system in top shape so you can better fight off winter germs.
If you struggle to eat fruits and veggies, try making a powerful smoothie for breakfast – it’ll be just as effective and easier to get down.
Get plenty of sleep
When we sleep, our body works to repair itself so that we wake up feeling refreshed the following day. An ongoing lack of sleep can have a harmful effect on your immune system. When your immune system is already working hard because you aren’t getting enough sleep, it won’t be able to effectively fight off germs that carry the cold and flu, as well as other bugs. Adults should get anywhere between 7-9 hours of sleep in order ensure their body works properly.
Sticking to a regular fitness routine won’t just keep your waistline trim, but it can also help prevent you from getting ill. Exercise is another important factor for keeping your immune system strong, as it promotes the ability to fight off harmful cells that make you ill. The NHS advises that adults between 19 and 64 should aim for no less than 150 minutes of exercise every week.