Eating your lunch off a toilet seat seems disgusting. But according to a recent study by the University of Arizona, it would actually be a healthier option than eating off your work desk.
According to the study, paper isn’t the only thing piling up on your desk. The average desk harbours 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Germ guru, Charles Gerba says that unless desks are wiped clean with a disinfectant during the day, bacteria levels climb higher and higher, peaking after lunch.
“We don’t think twice about eating at our desks. Without cleaning, a small area on your desk or phone can sustain millions of bacteria that could potentially cause illness,” he says.
The study also found that by not using bacterial wipes, bacteria levels increased an average of 19% to 31% on the telephone, computer mouse, keyboard and desktop surface throughout a typical workday. The area where you rest your hand on your desk has, on average, 10 million bacteria.
Gerba concludes: “With more people spending more time at their desks, bacteria are finding plenty to snack on.”
The Dirtiest Spots
The top five most germ-contaminated spots in the average office are (in order):
1. Your phone
2. Your desk
3. Communal water fountain handles
4. The microwave door handle
5. Your keyboard