The Dirtiest Place in Your Office May Shock You

Think the bathroom is the germiest place at work? Think again.

Desks have 400 times more germs than toilet seats.

According to a new Kimberly-Clark Professional study which collected swabs from a variety of offices, employees spread the most germs in shared eating spaces, the break room, and at their desks!

Researchers determined the dirtiness of surfaces by measuring ATP levels, an indication of contamination by animal, vegetable, bacteria, yeast, and mold cells. Surfaces with an ATP count of 300 or higher are considered a high risk for illness transmission. These surfaces were most likely to have ATP levels of 300 or higher:

  1. Sink faucet handles in the break room. (75% of the time)
  2. Microwave door handles. (48% of the time)
  3. Computer keyboards. (27% of the time)
  4. Refrigerator door handles. (26% of the time)
  5. Water fountain buttons. (23% of the time)

According to the study, most cold and flu germs are spread in the break room because it is a shared eating space—and every visit to the break room is an opportunity to carry those germs back to work spaces.

Want to avoid spreading germs at work?

Wash and dry your hands upon arrival at work, after using the restroom, and before and after eating can reduce germs by 77%. Boost your hand cleanliness even more by using a hand sanitizer before and after meetings and when leaving work. Don’t forget to sanitize surfaces regularly – including your desk, keyboard, mouse, telephone, conference room table, and water fountain buttons. You should also wipe down and disinfect break room surfaces like sink handles, microwave handles, fridge handles, and counter tops!

Source: The Advisory Board Company “Which workplace surfaces harbor the most germs?”

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