OFFICE SNIFFLES GOING AROUND?
6 Tips to Stay Healthy in the Office
There are many different viruses that can cause the common cold, but rhinoviruses are the most common culprit.1 You can catch a cold when a virus enters your body through your mouth, eyes or nose. It usually spreads through droplets in the air when someone who has a cold lets out a cough, sneezes or talks. It can also be spread by hand-to-hand contact with either a sick person or a contaminated object.
You can get a cold any time of the year, but most people tend to catch a cold during the winter months. The common cold is always more prevalent in the winter. This isn’t because cold weather makes us sick, but because the viruses that cause colds spread more easily in colder, drier air. We also tend to spend more time indoors and in close quarters with people in the colder months. On top of that, our nasal passages tend to be drier during the winter, due to drier air, making them more susceptible to virus or infection, and us more susceptible to catching a cold.
Most people work busy jobs that make them feel like they don’t have time to take sick days, even when they’re sick. This causes them to go into the office and spread their germs around to others, and as we know, common cold germs are very contagious. While you can’t tell these people not to come into work, there are steps that you can take to reduce your chances of catching a cold or getting sick.
Even though there are cold viruses lurking around every corner and there’s nothing you can do to cure your cold once you’ve caught it, there are many things you can do to help prevent yourself from catching a cold in the first place. Below are some effective, simple tips and tricks you can implement in your daily routine to fight off a cold and keep yourself healthy.
- The best cold prevention tip is to distance yourself from anyone who’s sick. If you commute using transit and find yourself surrounded by people, try your best to stay away from anyone who seems to be suffering from congestion and coughing or sneezing. Once you get to work, the same rule applies. Try to steer clear of your co-workers who seem sick or are coughing and sneezing. It’s likely they have a cold and this is the most common way a cold can spread. It’s a sign they’re contagious and gives you a good reason to stay away!
- Avoid the hot spots or places that others who are infected are likely to touch. Coffee pots. Refrigerator doors. Microwave buttons. Door handles. Elevator buttons. Bacteria and viruses that cause the common cold can live on surfaces for hours, so try to avoid contact, carry hand sanitizer with you and apply it frequently or wash your hands right after. If you don’t get the chance to wash your hands, avoid putting them anywhere near your mouth or touching your face. Try to regularly clean these areas or wipe them down with anti-bacterial wipes.
- If you cough or sneeze, make sure to cover your mouth or nose with a tissue and throw it away after use. If you don’t have a tissue handy, don’t worry. Bring your elbow up to your mouth and cough into the crevice. This prevents you from spreading the virus to your hands, therefore spreading it to all the other surfaces you touch. Then wash your hands to ensure the germs are disposed of.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, frequently.
- Sleeping and eating well and regularly exercising are crucial to feeling healthy and boosting the immune system.
- Your body is stronger if it’s looked after. Getting seven or more hours of sleep every night and eating a well-balanced diet gives your body the fuel and rest it needs to fight infection and illness.