The research conducted by scientists in America took samples from 90 offices in New York, San Francisco and Tucson, Arizona and found that men’s offices contain significantly higher numbers of bacteria than women’s.
They identified over 500 types of bacteria, most of which originated from human skin, noses, ears and “ intestinal cavities”, and found that office workspaces and surfaces used by men were consistently more contaminated that those used by women.
Researchers of the study wrote in the online journal Public Library of Science..”The differences between contamination levels in the offices of men and women may be explained by differences in hygiene. Men are known to wash their hands and brush their teeth less frequently than women, and are commonly perceived to have a more slovenly nature”
The study recognised that body size, could however be a contributing factor in the discrepancy between male and female cleanliness in the office.
“Since men are, on average, larger than women, they have a correspondingly greater skin surface area, as well as nasal and oral cavities and, therefore, a proportionally greater surface area for bacterial colonisation,” the researchers pointed out. “Thus, in addition to being less hygienic, it is possible that men may also shed more bacteria into their surrounding environment.”
Whilst this may make uncomfortable reading for many, gaining a greater understanding of the habits and the behaviour of colleagues is important and highlights the imperative nature of good office cleaning, especially as we spend an ever increasing duration of time at work.
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