Why your office could be making you sick

By Stephen Matthews

Electronic badges contained 4,620,000 bacteria per square inch while trackpads had just 810 - on average. Photo / 123RF
Electronic badges contained 4,620,000 bacteria per square inch while trackpads had just 810 - on average. Photo / 123RF

Toilet seats, pet toys and money are all considered to be dirty and bacteria-ridden.

But we often forget how our everyday working environment can be home to some potentially nasty bugs.

New research has revealed our worst fear - get your anti-bacterial handwash and wipes ready.

Keyboards harbour 20,000 times more bacteria than a toilet bowl, experts claim.

While your mouse is 45,000 times more contaminated than the flush handle.

And the ID badge you use to get in and out of work contains the most bacteria, a study revealed.

The simple security gadget was found to have 243 times more bacteria than a common pet toy.

Researchers from CBT Nuggets - an IT training website based in Oregon - tested everyday working essentials to determine how much bacteria they carried.

They tested five keyboards, trackpads, mouses, electronic badges and phones to determine their average colony-forming units per square inch.

Electronic badges contained 4,620,000 bacteria per square inch while trackpads had just 810 - on average.

They found several types of bacteria had invaded our working and persona lives, including bacilli, gram-positive cocci, gram-positive rods and gram-negative rods.

The former two are responsible for the most sickness bugs - as bacilli are common in food poisoning cases and gram-positive cocci can cause Streptoccal infections.

While gram-negative rods can become resistant to antibiotics but their positive counterpart aren't considered harmful to humans.

Gram-positive cocci were responsible for 42 per cent bacteria found on the five items.

Bacilli made up for around a quarter and gram-negative rods were accountable for 21.5 per cent.

They also found that a trackpad was the better option for anyone worried about potential infections.

It was found to harbour just two forms of bacteria - 67 per cent of gram-positive rods and 33 per cent of gram-positive cocci.

While its alternative - the mouse - contained all four of the different types.

- Daily Mail

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