Desks are three times dirtier than toilet seats, with keyboards harbouring as many germs as a kitchen bin, study finds
- Research finds the average desk had almost 21,000 germs per square inch
- A study found the average keyboard harbours as many germs as a kitchen bin
- And office phones were home to more than 25,000 germs
It’s where we spend eight hours a day working, eating and drinking. So many will be horrified to hear that our desks are three times dirtier than toilet seats.
A study found the average keyboard harbours as many germs as a kitchen bin while a computer mouse is filthier than a typical door mat.
Swabs were taken from ten of each item at offices across the UK then compared with dirty household objects.
The average desk had almost 21,000 germs per square inch, a keyboard typically held 3,295 germs, while for a mouse it was 1,676. And office phones were home to more than 25,000 germs.
A study found the average keyboard harbours as many germs as a kitchen bin while a computer mouse is filthier than a typical door mat
Karim Samani, managing director of cleaning business TechDisinfect, said: ‘Desks and office items can be up to four times dirtier than a toilet seat because we’re spending so much more time with them.
‘People tend to eat and drink at their desks, never thinking about cleaning up afterwards. Employees also don’t tend to give serious consideration to disinfecting regularly.’
He added: ‘Viruses, germs and bacteria can be transmitted around the home very easily, but our workplaces are potentially a much bigger hazard.
‘Everything from coffee cups to keyboards can harbour infection.
‘It’s not just high traffic communal areas that could be harbouring a virus, some viruses can survive on surfaces such as metals and plastics for up to a day, meaning everyday IT equipment, such as laptops, tablets, phones, keyboards, mice, printers etc, can be hotspots for transmission.’
A spokeswoman for website Fasthosts.co.uk, which conducted the research, said: ‘Starting a study like this, we wondered if we’d get shocking results.
‘And by comparing toilet seats, doormats and kitchen bins to common desk items, we were surprised to find just how dirty desks can actually be.’
She added: ‘With more employers encouraging and even mandating that employees return to the office full-time, or at least in a hybrid setting, this is something companies should be considering
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