Your workplace is crawling with germs, and not just in the men's room. Here are a few of biggest workplace germ magnets:
#1: Coffee pot handles. They're handled so often, studies show that they contain more bacteria than a toilet seat. The same goes for the other break room hot spots: like faucets, sinks, microwave buttons, and refrigerator handles.
Another workplace germ farm: Conference rooms. Unlike bathrooms, which are regularly scrubbed with disinfectant, meeting rooms rarely get cleaned and they contain tables and chairs that are routinely touched by people who've been eating, shaking hands, and sharing the conference room phones.
Then there's your desk. Studies show that most desk areas are filled with fungus and parasites, along with the viruses and bacteria that can cause colds and flu, and are 400 times germier than, you guessed it, a toilet seat.
If you're tempted to run out of the building right now, remember: Massive numbers of germs also collect on elevator buttons and escalator rails.
So, what's the most effective way to avoid getting sick from all the germs that surround you?
Practice good personal hygiene! That means, wash your hands often, at least 10 times a day, and lather up with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, and before eating. If you're not near a sink, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Also: If you're sick, stay home. Your coworkers will thank you. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that companies lose $150 billion in sick days because of people who go to work sick.