Is eating at your desk making you sick?

Eating lunch at your desk can expose you to dangerous bacteria.

Question of the day: Would you eat off a toilet seat? I’m willing to bet the majority of us would reply with a resounding, “No!” and maybe add an expletive or two. Well, I hate to break it to you, but if you’re one of the 47 percent of people who eat lunch at their desk at work, then you, my friend, may as well be eating from a toilet seat.

According to a recent study, eating lunch at your desk can expose you to 400 times more dangerous bacteria than you’d find on the average public toilet seat. Let that sink in for a little bit.

The study found that 55 percent of women and 40 percent of men eat lunch at their desks. Employees age 35 and older are more likely to eat at their desks — 52 percent compared to 37 percent of those ages 18 to 34. And only 27 percent of the people surveyed ate meals in a cafeteria or break room.

So why are our desks so disgusting? Think back. When was the last time you wiped down your desk, phone or keyboard? Crumbs can hide in these cozy places, causing germs to multiply.

Another problem? Only 50 percent of full-time workers surveyed said they wash their hands before eating lunch at work.

Of course, we can’t avoid germs and not all bacteria are bad. But that doesn’t mean we should forgo all hygiene. Experts say that if you clean your work area once a week and wash your hands before you eat, you shouldn’t have to resort to moving your lunch break into the office bathroom to be healthier.


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