The 2012-2013 Flu season has been in full swing by starting early and hitting hard. It’s only the beginning of January and over 2,250 people across the US have been hospitalized and 41 states have reported activity. So how can you stay healthy through the worst flu season in a decade? Here are a few tips on preventing illness and staying healthy in the office:
1. Wash your hands-make sure you wash your hands after you touch shared objects such as the coffee pot, door handles, copy machines, elevator buttons. It may be simple but it is one of the best ways to prevent germs from spreading.
2. Stay hydrated-keep a reusable water bottle at your desk. Staying hydrated helps both your physical and mental performance
3. Clean your workspace-use disinfecting wipes to clean your entire desk area. Items on your desk can harbor about 21,000 germs per square inch!
4. Eat healthy-some work conditions can make it difficult to eat well but if you plan ahead you can resist vending machine temptation. Eating nutritious foods provides your body with the vitamins need to fight off infections.
5. Move around-not only will this build your immune system up, it will also make you more productive at work because it keeps your blood circulating. So instead of calling or emailing someone from down the hall, go see them in person.
6. Don’t touch your face-80% of infectious diseases are transmitted through touch and we touch our faces at least once every four minutes.
7. Get enough sleep-the benefits of getting enough sleep are astounding. Getting at least 8 hours a night not only leaves you feeling refreshed and ready for the day, it also improves your memory, sharpens your attention, spurs your creativity, contributes to weight loss, and manages stress levels. Our bodies also repair themselves while we are sleeping.
8. Cover your cough-It’s best to over your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. If you don’t have a tissue or you can’t get to one quick enough, use your upper sleeve or elbow to cover your cough.
The CDC recommends getting a flu shot as the best form of defense against the flu. Also, try to work from home if you feel like you are developing symptoms of the flu. This will help you rest and keeps germs from spreading to others.