10 tips to help you avoid getting the winter nasties at work

Colds and flu’s are easy to catch and spread; and hard to avoid, particularly when you work in close quarters. Here are 10 tips to help you avoid getting the seasonal nasties.  

As the flu season peaks, it helps to know the nitty gritty of how people spread and catch colds and the flu.  

Cold and flu viruses spread from person-to-person through breathing in airborne droplets from coughs or sneezes, or by touching contaminated objects and shared surfaces, such as door handles, and then your nose or mouth.

What can you do to help stop the spread of seasonal nasties?

  1. Get the flu vaccine yearly. Ideally you should get it in early autumn, but it’s not too late have it now. 
  2. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and warm water if possible. Did you know that the flu virus can survive on unwashed hands for up to 30 minutes?
  3. When you cough or sneeze, turn away from others and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue.
  4. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hand.
  5. Throw used tissues in to a plastic-lined rubbish bin as soon as you’re done with them.
  6. Clean your desk daily, particularly if you ‘flexi desk’ in an office environment. Did you know that the flu virus can survive on surfaces for up to two days?
  7. If you or someone you’re spending time with has cold or flu-like symptoms, steer clear of confined meeting rooms. 
  8. Try to stay home if you’re unwell — if you have a cold or the flu you can remain contagious for four to five days after developing symptoms.
  9. Healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, a balanced diet and getting enough sleep can help boost your cold and flu-fighting ability.
  10. Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke as it makes your immune system weaker and causes many other health problems.
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