Green Hygiene - How to Stay Healthy in the Workplace

posted Jan 14, 2014, 8:27 AM by Todd Fox   [ updated Sep 23, 2016, 2:45 PM ]
Every day millions of germs are passed from person-to-person in the workplace. Some are more benign than others. Employees are exposed to germs on door handles, faucets, toilets, hand rails, and keyboards. Even an act as simple as shaking hands can spread germs. When they are not kind however, and your immune system cannot fight them, prepare to be sick! 

Many employers will hire hygiene services to help prepare for the flu season or simply to keep their staff happy and healthy all year round. If you're trying to conserve money, you can study these tips as a starting place to developing a healthy and green workplace environment.

Germs, Work and Your Immune System

Most professional people will sit in front of a computer screen for eight to 10 hours per day for five to six days per week. While it seems like a mindful and non-energy expending task, it actually does deplete energy levels and compromises the immune system over time. Most working professionals are not aware how the simple act of typing, reading, and clicking a mouse daily can affect them. If you’re not looking after your immune system, the likelihood of getting sick increases exponentially.

Tips to Avoid Illness in the Workplace

1. Don't Skip Meals

The saying, breakfast is the most important meal of the day is so true so skipping meals, especially breakfast can impact on your day (and health) significantly. A good start to the day will help you have a healthier well-being and lower the chances of you becoming ill due to germ exposure. Most people should eat three substantial meals and two small snacks throughout the day. Five small meals are also acceptable.

2. Pack a Lunch

This tip will save money and reduce your exposure to germs. As much as we like to trust our food servers, they are not perfect, and you may be exposed to more germs by eating in fast food places on a regular basis - opt to only buy lunch once a week as a treat. Eating healthy snacks instead of vending snacks is recommended to curb cravings that lead to weight gain.

3. Stay Hydrated

Remaining hydrated is one the best ways to prevent getting sick and keep your immune system strong. To keep the body working properly, eight glasses of water a day is highly recommended. For those that struggle with keeping fluids up, try some fresh lemon or mint in your water to add some flavour. You'll feel more energetic, and thus, you'll be more productive.

4. Exercise or Take a Walk at Lunch

The average person spends 90 percent of their day indoors. Indoor air pollutants are often 25 percent to 62 percent higher than outdoor air pollutants and toxins. Interior pollution can originate from paints, cooking, cleaning products, smoke, building materials, or from the furnace or air conditioner. It helps to get outside and walk for at least 15-30 minutes during the day to fill the lungs with clean air.

5. Keep Your Work Station and Bathrooms Clean and Disinfected

Be sure to wipe down your work station daily with eco-friendly sanitising wipes to prevent germs from entering your body after you type on your computer or touch your desk. Don't forget to disinfect the workplace bathroom daily to prevent illness from spreading.

6. Use Anti-Bacterial Soaps and Hand Sanitisers

Eco-friendly anti-bacterial soaps and hand sanitisers kill germs that contribute to illnesses and should be used on the hands and lower arms throughout the day. Ensuring your workplace bathroom is topped up with anti-bacterial soaps will help keep germs contained.

7. Wash Your Hands Often

Germs can be killed through frequent hand washing. Everything you touch can expose you to harmful bacteria, so regularly washing your hands can help to reduce exposure.

When your hands come into contact with computer keyboards and door knobs, you should was your hands. For smokers, ensure you wash your hands before heading back to the workplace, and always wash your hands after using the toilet or taking the bins out.

8. Eat Well and Take a Multi-Vitamin

Eating well may feel difficult, but you should try to consume at least five servings of fruits and veggies daily. Eat foods that are high in vitamin C and antioxidants such as spinach, oranges, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, and dark leafy greens. This will help you ward off sickness. Take a multi-vitamin to cover you when you cannot consume the proper amount of nutrients daily.

9. Drink Herbal Teas

Green teas, Echinacea, and other herbal teas will help to fight of sickness. Drink teas to boost your immune system.

10. Call in Sick When You Need to

When you're sick, don't hang around the office and infect other people. Try to take a sick day or work remotely from home. If someone at the office is sick, you should try to keep your distance.

How to Remain Germ-Free and Healthy in the Workplace

Speak with your employer and have them promote these habits in the workplace. Since you spend at least eight hours a day at work, you are more likely to be exposed to germs during this time and get sick. The best course of action is to ensure that your employer is an advocate of a safe and healthy environment. It will lower absenteeism and increase productivity when employees are not out sick. When companies lose less money, they'll be more profitable. Share the news!

Author Bio

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Enviro care Systems, WA’s professional hygiene and sanitary services. 


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