Photo: PMM via Flickr
It inevitably happens every flu season. Someone with the sniffles comes into the office and within a week, everyone is a sneezing bag of infection.We’ve gathered some great health tips for you from WebMD and MSNBC. Beat the pattern this year by following these suggestions to stay healthy and maintain productivity:
- Sanitize high traffic areas. Wipe down keyboards, desk surfaces, light switches, copy machine buttons, and whatever else around your office is handled by lots of people.
- Notice who else in the office is sick. Be attentive to who is already under the weather. Don’t be avoidant, just make sure that your interactions spread information and not germs.
- Keep an air ionizer by your desk. This will purify air from dust particles and bacteria, keeping you healthier overall. We like this one on Amazon for $30.
- Be a pain in the arse. Lobby for a new policy at work that forces sick people to stay at home and have your office pay for hand sanitizer to be left in prominent places.
- Sneeze into your arm, not your hand. Your coworkers will be appreciative.
- Consistently wash your hands. It’s an oldie but a goodie because it really works.
- Keep yourself healthier in general. Eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep. These are two easy ways to take care of your immune system and make yourself more resistant to sickness overall.
- Exercise. Shoot for 30 minutes a day. If you’re crunched for time as it is, change your routine. Park farther away and walk to work, use the stairs instead of the elevator, or take a brisk walk around the parking lot during your lunch. Get creative and figure out how to wrangle some physical activity into your day.
- Stop smoking. It dries out your throat and prevents your throat’s “filter” (cilia) from cleaning the air you inhale.
- Spoil yourself with a sauna. A 1989 study in Germany found that people who steamed twice a week got half as many colds as those who didn’t. The theory is that when you take a sauna you inhale air hotter than 80 degrees, a temperature too hot for cold and flu viruses to survive.
- Load up on Dannon. Studies show that eating a cup of low-fat yogurt each day reduces your susceptibility to colds by 25%. Experts think the bacteria in yogurt stimulates production of immune system substances that fight disease.
- Keep geranium on your desk. The leaves of the plant emit phytoncides that kill airborne bacteria. When you feel like sneeze coming, tear a leaf off the plant and rub it between your fingers to release more phytoncides. Inhale a pleasant odor for a moment instead of sneezing all over your workspace.
As a side note, we were surprised to learn that a 2007 clinical trial found little to no benefit in taking Vitamin C for cold prevention. Feel free to keep eating tangerines, but don’t count on it as your only line of defence.
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