With news that one in five people neglect to wash their hands after using the loo, it’s hardly surprising to learn thatpoor hand hygiene has the potential to strike folk down with an illness that makes a mockery of agenerally robust immune system.
Those with mysophobia should look away now.
Studies also show that 10 per cent of toilet users only splash their mitts with water rather than taking the time to wash them properly. Added to that, around 40 per cent only wash their hands for half the recommended time of 20 seconds.
As if that isn’t shocking enough, around 10 per cent of office workers use their mobile phone to browse the web while in the loo, with a further five per cent taking the time to read a document, which increases the likelihood of germs spreading across the whole workforce.
Sloppy toilet habits aside, germs are actually all around us, with countless invisible bacteria clinging to kitchen surfaces, mobile phones and office equipment. In fact, an office computer mouse has been shown to house three times the level of bacteria typically found on the average toilet seat.
As a result, it’s crucial you take preventative measures to ensure your home and work environments are clean, which should help keep your hands free from harmful bacteria and the very real risk of spreading infection.
Boosting your Hand Hygiene Levels
One of the simplest ways to improve your hand hygiene – a process that will control the spread of infection that causes diarrhoea and vomiting – is to wash your mitts properly after using the loo, preparing food or touching surfaces that may be contaminated.
In layman’s terms, regular hand washing significantly decreases bacteria present on your hands by up to 80 per cent, although using a bar of soap shared between many people can actually exacerbate the problem considering bacteria tend to flourish in warm, moist conditions.
To remove all germs from your digits, ensure you scrub under your nails and use enough anti-bacterial soap to coat both of your hands. Additionally, take the time to wash properly (experts recommend at least 20 seconds) to ensure you banish all trace.
If you’re out and about and are caught short, acquaint yourself with the risks associated with using a public toilet. Given that some folk won’t take the time to effectively sanitise their hands, the humble municipal loo can become a hotbed of bacterial activity.
In the workplace, it’s important to maintain your hand hygiene with a combination of anti-bacterial wipes or gel, as skin-friendly hand sanitizers can kill around 99.9 per cent of germs – and remember to ALWAYS wash after you’ve used the loo.