04 Nov 5 Wellness Tips to Keep You Healthy At Work During Flu Season
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that during the 2019 to 2020 United States flu season, there were 39 million to 56 million flu illnesses. There were also 410,000 to 740,000 individuals hospitalized due to the illness. Unfortunately, close contact with individuals outside of your home — such as in the workplace — is a major spreader of the flu. Luckily, there are many things you can do to stay safe and to keep your body healthy.
Here are five wellness tips to keep you healthy at work during flu season.
1. Wash Your Hands Often
One of the best things you can do to stay healthy during flu season is to wash your hands often throughout the day. Handwashing will rinse away the bad germs that can make you sick, however, you must make sure you wash your hands properly if you want to reap the benefits. To properly wash your hands you must:
- Wet your hands with warm or cold water and then lather your hands with soap. Make sure to wash all areas of your hands including between all fingers and on the front and back of each hand.
- Scrub all areas of your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands with water.
- Dry hands on a clean towel or air dry them. Do not wipe them off on a dirty towel or your clothing.
2. Limit Your In-Person Interactions
If possible, limit your in-person interactions as much as possible. This will help you to stay away from contagious individuals. If this is not possible, allow for some space between you and other individuals. Try to avoid sitting next to an individual or standing close while talking.
3. Clean and Sanitize Your Desk Often
The supplies sitting at your desk may be covered in germs and can make you extremely sick. At least once a day, tidy and sanitize your desk. If you use high-trafficked areas such as a break room, it is wise to bring a disinfecting wipe or another cleaning solution to wipe off all areas before you touch them such as refrigerator handles, the microwave, counters, doorknobs, etc.
When sanitizing items, don’t forget personal items like your smartphone. One study at the University of Arizona found that cell phones are 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat and another study found that the average cell phone has more than 17,000 types of bacteria on it.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Staying healthy at work starts at your home. You must develop and maintain healthy habits at home that will build up your immune system and can fight off the bad germs. For example, strive to eat a healthy diet rich in many vitamins and minerals, exercise often, and make sleep a priority.
5. Don’t Be a Hero
If you begin to experience flu-like symptoms, there is no need to be a hero and stick out the workday. While it may be tempting, it is in your best interest to go home and work remotely or give your body much-needed rest. When you stay at work and are showing symptoms, you may be contagious, spreading it to your co-workers.
If you want to stay healthy at work this year, you must be proactive. Your actions are going to make a difference between a year filled with illness or health.