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What’s the Germiest Place in Your Office?

In these days of budget cuts and slashed salaries, it’s good to know that some things are more plentiful than ever before. Unfortunately, one of those things is germs, which are apparently treating your office as a petri dish right this very second. (Sorry about that. If it were up to us, you’d get more free lunches and fewer colds, but what can you do?)

These are some of the germiest places in your office.

1. Phones


Your desk phone is the single dirtiest thing in your office cubicle. It’s dirtier than your trash can, and your keyboard. It’s even germier than the toilet seat, according to Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona. Yet another good reason to ask people to email you instead.

2. Keyboards and Computer Mice


Your computer keyboard is one of the five dirtiest surfaces in your office, thanks to our tendency to eat at our desks and never wipe down our work surfaces. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has actually taken their keyboard apart, only to find CSI-levels of hair and fibers.

3. Elevator Buttons


Apparently, toilet seats are the gold standard of office germ measurement. This article describes elevator buttons as being “40 times dirtier than toilet seats.” We are really dying to know what people are doing that’s making everything they touch so germy. Doesn’t anyone wash their hands anymore? Gross, people.

4. Conference Rooms


Where do people eat, shake hands, and use the phone? If you said conference rooms, you’re right. Now think of how often you see someone actually disinfect those spaces, as opposed to, say, the bathroom, or even your own desk area. Hardly ever, right? You now have yet another reason to avoid going to meetings. You’re welcome.

5. The Break Room


Perhaps the germiest single location of all, the break room is a prime place for bugs to party down. Because it’s shared space, the company kitchen tends to collect every virus and bacterium that travels through your building. The microwave alone has scary amounts of germs on it: Kimberly-Clark, a company that makes disinfectants, did a study that showed that half of microwave door handles have “high degrees of contamination.” Yuck!

Images:,,,, MSNBC

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