Do Men or Women Have the Germiest Offices?
To find out, researchers from San Diego State University and the University of Arizona took hundreds of samples from office surfaces in three cities. The verdict?
Men’s work areas are worse.
But researcher Scott Kelley think there’s a good reason for that: men are generally bigger than women. “Skin is a major source of the bacteria, and if men’s hands are physically bigger, there’s more surface area to colonize bacteria,” he said. “Men’s mouths are also bigger.”
But Philip Tierno, a clinical professor of microbiology and pathology at NYU Langone Medical Center, feels men simply aren’t as clean as women, wash their hands less often and are “a little more cavalier about eating from the floor or from other surfaces.”
Overall, the most touched surfaces in offices — chairs and phones, for example — had the highest levels of bacteria. Kelley said most of the germs were harmless but easily spread, adding, “If someone gets sick, they should stay home because they are bringing bacteria in with them and making others sick.”