The cold months bring with them the cold and flu season, and trying to stay healthy at work can seem like a struggle. With the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, there is more fear behind safety precautions. Although, reportedly there are only 11 confirmed cases in Canada, and the risk remains low, the precaution to prevent coronavirus and the flu mimic each other.
In Canada Influenza is ranked among the top 10 causes of death. According to the government’s website, it is estimated that the flu causes around 3500 deaths each year in Canada. Needless to say, both of these illnesses are preventable with some extra tips to help you remain healthy at work.
This goes without saying, but limiting your contact with those who are ill, is a basic way to prevent catching the illness yourself. This doesn't need to be done in a rude manner, rather you may wish to keep extra space from the person, and avoid being in direct contact with them.
Getting regular exercise can also help keep your immune system healthy, which in turn helps your body fight off illnesses. This goes in tandem with drinking enough water, you will want to flush out the junk from your body. During cold and flu season, it's especially important to remember to remain active.
Surprisingly, stress can indirectly impact other illnesses in your body, including the flu. Properly managing your stress levels will prevent you from being vulnerable to virus attacks. Even planning a little self care evening once a week can help significantly lower your stress levels. This doesn't even have to be something elaborate, perhaps a simple relaxing evening at home.
This goes without saying, using hand sanitizer and washing your hands often, prevents the spread of viruses. Think about how many surfaces you touch in one day, not all of these surfaces are cleaned and many, such as door handles, have a lot of germs. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap, warm water and scrubbing properly will help reduce the spread of illnesses. This is also important to remember after using the bathrooms.
Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and reminding coworkers to do the same, will help prevent viruses such as the flu. You may not think it's a big deal, but the germs from a sneese can spread rapidly. According to a recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, germs from a sneeze can travel at 100 miles per hour and between 19 to 26 feet in distance.
Your hands are constantly in contact with various surfaces throughout the day, and you may not wash your hands enough to prevent illnesses. You can easily spread bacteria from surfaces to your face, which can get you sick pretty fast.
In your work space, try to sanitize surfaces and items your use regularly. Wipes that kill germs and viruses will minimize the risk of catching the flu.
The best thing you can do if you do get sick is to stay at home and get plenty of rest, so your body can fight the infection. This way you stop the spread of germs, recover faster, and keep others around you healthy.