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Is Your Job Making You Sick?

How to "Germ-Proof" Your Office
By DuPage Medical Group

It’s impossible to completely avoid exposure to bacteria and germs and you can’t always prevent a sick coworker from coming into the office either. Fortunately there are several things you can do to boost your immune system and keep your work space as germ-free as possible.


Wash Your Hands Frequently.

Thorough and frequent hand washing plays a vital role in keeping you well. You should wash your hands after using the bathroom, touching anything in a public place such as a shared item at work (this includes items like the vending machine or coffee pot), after sneezing or coughing or following contact with someone who may be ill. Use warm, soapy water and wash all surfaces off your hands for at least 20 seconds and make sure to dry them completely when finished.


Avoid Touching Your Face, Especially Your Nose, Mouth or Eyes.

Every time you touch your face, you are creating opportunity to transferring any contaminants you may have come in contact with from your hands into your body.


Gut Health Equals Good Health.

Your gut and the good bacteria present in the gut plays a key role in maintaining a strong immune system.  Processed foods and sugar have a negative impact on this “good bacteria” and can impair your immune system. Give your immunity a boost by staying hydrated and eating and drinking foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants like green or black tea, yogurt, fruit, nuts or dark chocolate.


Wipe Down Shared Surfaces and Desktops.

Use disinfectant wipes to sanitize your desktop, phone and keyboard regularly to prevent bacteria from building up. You should also wipe down shared surfaces like door knobs, refrigerator, microwave and drawer handles to prevent germs from spreading.


Keep Your Desk Stocked with the Essentials.

Create a work-place emergency stash stocked with germ and cold-fighting items including:

  • Tissues
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Lozenges
  • Tea
  • Over-the-counter decongestants
  • Multivitamins
  • Vitamin C Supplements or Zinc


Cover Up Coughs and Sneezes.

Be kind to your coworkers and practice good work-place etiquette by always covering sneezes with a tissue and coughing into your bent arm rather than using your hands.


Know When to Stay Home!

Fight the temptation to “power through” an illness, especially if you may be contagious to others.  The CDC recommends staying home if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms commonly associated with the flu including body aches, fatigue, sore throat, nasal congestion and coughing.


If you think you may be coming down with a cold or the flu you can consult with a DMG physician from the comfort of your home using a computer or tablet by taking advantage of our convenient video visit appointments.


To schedule a video visit https://www.dupagemedicalgroup.com/online-schedule/video-visit/.

Topics and Subtopics: General Health

Learn more about:
Internal Medicine
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