Ewwwww: Germs Are Working Overtime On Your Desk, Keyboard, PDA - InformationWeek

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Ewwwww: Germs Are Working Overtime On Your Desk, Keyboard, PDA

A new study shows that our desks are loaded with germs. And women's offices have nearly three times more germs than their male colleagues'.

Put down that Palm Pilot and step away from your desk. Now run, don't walk, to the nearest bottle of disinfectant.

A new study shows that our desks, including phones, keyboards, coffee cups, and computer mice, are loaded with germs, according to the University of Arizona's Dr. Charles Gerba, who's famous for germ studies. (Your kitchen sink has more germs than your toilet seat, by the way.) And ladies, brace yourselves -- our desks have way more germs than our male colleagues, nearly three times as many.

"As people spend more time at their desks, germs find plenty to snack on," said Gerba in a statement. "Desks are really bacteria cafeterias. They're breakfast buffets, lunch tables, and snack bars, as we spend more and more hours at the office."

So, what's the germiest item on or inside our desks?

For women, it's the makeup they stash in their desks. For men, it's their wallets. And when it comes to the germiest item that men and women have in common, it's the telephone.

After makeup, for women the phone is a close runner up when it comes to carrying bacteria. Purses come in a tight third, followed by hand lotion bottles, keyboards, desk drawers, and computer mice. For men, the wallet is the clear winner, with Palm Pilots (or other handheld devices) coming in a strong second, and phones, knick knacks, desk drawer handles, desktops, and coffee cups all making strong showings.

"What we found is that women seemed to have more 'stuff' in their offices, from makeup bags to pictures of family and purses on their desks," said Dr. Gerba. "It added up to big numbers for women, even though their offices typically looked cleaner."

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