Caution: Cold & Flu season ahead
It’s that time of year again, the leaves are changing, the air is becoming crisper and everybody in your office is sporting a snifflely nose and a hacking cough. With many people sharing the same space for multiple hours a day, and life factors and work pressures forcing sick people to come to the office anyway, office spaces become incubators for infection such as the common cold and flu. According to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. as the weather begins to change from hot to cold the common cold and flu will account for tens of millions of sick days this year, which could cost businesses as much as $8 billion in paid sick leave.
Aside from the business side of things, coming into work sick or having to stay home sick is severely unpleasant. Luckily, there are a couple things you can do to protect yourself from the germs!
Wash your hands and disinfect
Hand washing is the most touted way to protect against infection and cannot be reiterated enough, but did you know that the top five germiest places in your office are the following:
1) Office phone
2) Personal Desktop
3) Computer Keyboard
4) Microwave Oven Door
5) Water Fountain Handle
Avoiding shared appliances, or at least thoroughly washing your hands after use combined with wiping down your own workspace with a lysol or Clorox wipe can help extensively when it comes to keeping you cold & flu free.
The website Health Central says that Studies show that disinfecting the phone, keyboard, and desktop once a day can kill 99 percent of the germs. This is particularly important if you share a workstation or phone with several people.
Vitamins, Exercise & Sleep
An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure! The best way to stay healthy is to not get sick in the first place. Keeping your immune system running at its optimum performance level involves making sure you get adequate sleep, eat a balanced diet, don’t go crazy with caffeine and alcohol and drink lots of water. Loading up on vitamin D and Zinc can also be extremely beneficial.
Exercise can also deter colds and illnesses. WebMD suggests that Regular exercise appears to have the advantage of being able to jump-start the immune system, and that can help reduce the number of colds you get. With exercise, the number and aggressiveness of certain immune cells, such as the ones called natural killer cells, increase by as much as 50% to 300%. If you exercise regularly, this temporary increase can help make the immune system more efficient at destroying intruders that cause illness such as colds.
Stop Touching Your Face!
This one is both the most effective way to avoid a cold/ flu virus and the absolutely most difficult to follow through with. The cold/virus enters the body through the eyes nose and mouth. When you touch your face, you are giving the virus a direct path right into your body. Easier said then done, as for some reason humans have a compulsion to constantly touch their faces, averaging in about 16 face touches an hour, that’s almost 1 to 3 times per every 5 min!
Sometimes no matter how much you try, you are still going to get sick. Unfortunately there’s nothing you can really do to immediately get rid of a cold (Anti-biotics are for bacteria based illness not for viruses, and OTC cold remedies mainly relieve symptoms not actually treating the illness) there are some DIY at home remedies that you can try.
White button mushrooms, the ones you most commonly see in the grocery store are proven to have immune boasting effects. Two studies from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University have shown that mushrooms increase the production of antiviral proteins that can destroy or deactivate the foreign invaders that make you sick.
Chicken Noodle Soup:
Chicken Noodle soup has long been prescribed by mothers and grandmother everywhere as the cure-allo to cold and flus. But did you know this warm comfort food isn’t just a soothing relaxant for the sick? Several studies have shown that chicken soup inhibits the production of inflammatory compounds that are released in a viral infection,” says Schachter. Vegetable-based soups such as minestrone also seem to reduce inflammation, but their effects are not quite as strong as chicken soup’s.
For more alternative cold and flu remedies check out the full article (and stay well this fall!) :