Office desk `may jeopardise your health`

London: Office desks put workers at risk of serious illness because they are crawling with germs, experts have warned in a new study.

Workplace kitchens and break rooms are also at risk, particularly sinks where staff clean their cups and plates and also microwave door handles.

In a US study, hygienists collected nearly 5,000 swabs from buildings including law firms, insurance offices, call centres and healthcare companies. It found office workers unwittingly spread bugs around on a daily basis.

“No one can avoid it entirely,” the Daily Express quoted Richard Millard, of Kimberley-Clark Professional which carried out the research, as saying.

But he added that rigorous hygiene habits and cleaning could reduce office rates of colds, flu and stomach illness by up to 80 percent.

“This demonstrates that contamination can be spread throughout the workplace when office workers heat up lunch, make coffee or simply type on their keyboards,” Study consultant Charles Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, said.