It’s that time of year again, where wherever you go, you encounter someone sneezing or coughing. It’s the flu season and the workplace is not immune to it. According to the CDC, each year on average 5%-20% of the population will get the flu. When the flu spreads to the workplace it affects productivity by keeping employees at home to recover. Here are tips to help you avoid the flu in the workplace.
Make everyone in the office get a flu shot. The flu shot is your first line of defense in avoiding the flu. The CDC states that when more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can be spread throughout the community. Keep everyone in the office healthy and encourage them to go to the local pharmacy to get a flu shot. The more people vaccinated in your office, the less chance you have of catching the flu.
Stay away from crowded spaces. This is especially hard for commuters who have to be in crowded trains and buses every day. If you see someone sneezing, steer clear of them. Consider carpooling with co-workers to avoid the flu-riddled buses and trains.
Keep yourself healthy. Eat plenty of foods rich in antioxidants like apples, spinach and blueberries and foods rich in Vitamin C to keep your immune system top notch like oranges. Also, keep your mind healthy and try to de-stress from the things that are causing you anxiety. Stress has been linked to weakening the immune system, making you more vulnerable to catching the flu.
Wash your hands as much as you can, especially at work. Research has revealed that the average desk has 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. As shocking as this sounds at first, just think about how many times you wipe down your desk with disinfectant spray compared to how many times the office bathrooms are cleaned. You probably only clean your desk once a month while the toilets get cleaned every day. So, wash your hands thoroughly, and if you can’t, keep hand sanitizer nearby.
How are you staying healthy this flu season? Let us know in the comments below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Eneas de Troya