Tips to Help Avoid the Office Bug this Winter

It happens almost like clockwork. Someone at work gets sick, the bug makes its way to another person and soon almost everyone in the office is feeling under the weather.

According to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the winter months of December, January, February and March are among the busiest times for cold and flu season in the United States.

Here are some tips to try and help avoid the office bug this year:

  • Wash your hands regularly. It may seem like second-nature, but your hands are the gateway to spreading germs. Especially if you share a desk with another person at work or if you’re constantly exchanging files or papers.
  • Give your immune system a boost. Choosing vitamin-rich foods during the winter months is especially important. Natural supplements like vitamin C and zinc may also help build a healthy immune system and reduce the risk of getting sick.
  • Arm yourself with a flu shot. This will help protect you and others around you who are more vulnerable from getting sick. A flu shot doesn’t guarantee you won’t get the flu, but it does help lower your risk.
  • Avoid touching your face when possible. Rubbing your eyes or nose and resting your chin in your hand are common ways germs get passed around in the office. Try to avoid continuously touching parts of your face during the day.
  • Drink plenty of water. Your body is at its prime when properly hydrated. Also, when you’re sick, you may lose your appetite– which can mean less water intake from meals. Drinking water is especially important if you have a fever.
  • Wipe down your workspace. Get in the habit of taking time to wipe down your work-space with disinfectant spray or wipes. Remember the places you touch constantly throughout the day such as your phone, computer and desk drawer handles. Consider planning this into your end of the day ritual. Before long, your co-workers might just follow suit.

What steps do you take to stay healthy in the workplace during cold and flu season?

Looking for more tips on healthy workplace habits? You may also want to read:

Photo credit: William Brawley

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