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Top 8 Germiest Places at Work Revealed & Some Will Shock You!

by Jacqueline Burt on February 4, 2013 at 10:20 PM

elevator butonDuring these highly sanitized, anti-bacterial times, most of us consider ourselves to be at least somewhat germ savvy. We get flu shots. We wash our hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water AND soap. If we're gonna be stuck on an airplane in the middle of a crowded shopping mall during the height of flu season we might pop some extra vitamin C or take some other kind of immune-boosting supplement, just to be safe. But an average day at the office is no reason to go on high cootie alert, right?

WRONG! Wrong, wrong, wrong. According to a study so recent the results haven't even been published yet, your place of work is one of the most ick-infested spots ever -- and what's worse, those nasty bugs always show up early!

Researchers found that just four hours into the day, over half of office surfaces tested positive for traces of cold and flu viruses (by the end of the day, 70% of surfaces tested positive for traces of stomach flu virus, which lives longer outside the body than cold or flu). Ewww! And you know what's worse? Those surfaces aren't necessarily the surfaces you might expect! Here are the top 8 offenders, in no particular order:

More from The Stir: This Favorite Place Has More Germs Than Your Toilet

1. Coffee pot handle 

2. Tabletops

3. Doorknobs

4. Phones

5. Keyboards

6. Elevator buttons

7. Microwave/Refrigerator door handles

8. Sink faucet handles

See what I mean? Doorknobs, sink faucet handles, phones ... okay, no surprises there. But coffee pot and microwave door handles?! Makes sense, but who would've thought? Is there no escape?!

Well, no. But when researchers did a follow-up study, they found that giving employees free tissues, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes lowered their risk of becoming infected with office nasties to 10%. So, back to those germ-savvy habits!

Are you surprised by some of these germiest places in the office?


Image via Alexander Boden/Flickr

Filed Under: cold & flu, general health, healthy habits, illness


  • Venae


    February 4, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Nope - cooties are everywhere.  Anything touched is covered w/germs.  People cough into their hands and touch the phone, coffee pot, etc.  They don't wash correctly and touch things.  Or they do wash their hands, then touch the dirty faucet handle to turn off the water.  Use the back of your hand to do so or the paper towel to turn it off - and to open the door.  You should wipe everything in your office down at the beginning of each day.  And try not to let people use your pens.  I've seen people take my pen and put it in their mouth while using it - and then want to give it back to me.  Um, no thanks!!


  • Vegeta


    February 5, 2013 at 9:17 AM
    So who wasn't aware that things touched by many people throughout the day would be the germiest?
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