Scientists reveal office workers are exposed to more germs from their phones and keyboards than toilet seats.
A study conducted by the University of Arizona revealed that an office desk is capable of supporting 10 million bacteria, with the average office containing 20,961 germs per square inch.
Key offenders include telephones which harbour up to 25,127 germs per square inch, keyboards 3,295 and computer mice 1,676. Office equipment should be regularly disinfected to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria responsible for disease.
By contrast the average toilet seat contains 49 germs per square inch
Microbiologist Dr Charles Gerba, of the University of Arizona, who carried out the research said: “When someone is infected with a cold or flu bug the surfaces they touch during the day become germ transfer points because some cold and flu viruses can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours.
The study found that where office workers who were told to clean their desks with disinfecting wipes, bacterial levels were reduced by 99%.