People can’t exactly avoid their computer keyboards, but after they read the results of this study, they will certainly want to.
Sometimes it seem stylish for people to eat over their keyboards without even bothering to wash hands, little did they know they are endangering their health.
Meanwhile, according to CBT Nuggets, an IT-training company, the devices people use every day at work are crawling with germs, with more bacteria per square inch than some of the dirtiest things in our homes think: our toilets.
The company asked a team to swab some typical items used in an office for bacteria, including keyboards, ID badges, phones, mice, and track pads.
Then, the same team swabbed what we can all agree are traditionally dirty items—our toilets, dog toys, pens, and money. Surprisingly, not only are our office items just as dirty, they’re all dirtier.
Below are the findings:
Take our keyboards: The team found the average office keyboard has 3,543,000 colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria per square inch—20,589 times more bacteria than you’ll find on your average toilet seat., which only has 172 CFU per square inch.
And our computer’s mouse isn’t much cleaner: It has 1,370,068 CFU per square inch. By comparison, a toilet’s handle only has 30 CFU per square inch.
The thickness of those items might not surprise you, but maybe this will: Our company ID badges—which you’d think have to be cleaner than our keyboards—are actually the dirtiest thing in our offices.
They have an average of 4,620,000 CFU per square inch—yuck!—which is more than a pet’s toy, which carries 19,000 CFU per square inch. That means your ID badge is 243 times, well, grosser than your dog’s spit-soaked squeaky toy.
What’s worse, that little badge harbors a lot of gram-positive cocci—at 61 percent of the total bacteria on the badge. Gram-positive cocci is the kind of bacteria that can cause strep throat or a staph infection, so handle it with care.
Other bacteria, such as bacilli, which often causes food poisoning, and gram-negative rods, which can be resistant to drug and antibiotic treatments, were also found on ID badges—and our keyboards, phones, and mice, too.
You’re probably already wiping down your devices with cleaner. Good. But moving forward, CBT Nuggets recommends washing your hands regularly (and properly) to combat the effects of the bacteria that will inevitably come back.
And, “if you know you’re getting sick, just stay home until you’re well again. By coming to work, you are spreading all those germs throughout the workplace and putting everyone else at risk,” the company reminds us. -Glamour
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