We might only just be sliding into Autumn but this is the perfect time to think about getting flu ready. Here’s our 5 step guide to staying flu free this coming winter.
Table of Contents
1) Get Immunised
It’s the biggest weapon in the fight against ‘flu but there’s no point waiting until someone in the office succumbs or one of your kids comes home sick. Check whether your employer offers a flu vaccination programme.
If you don’t fall into the free NHS flu vaccination target groups, such as those aged over 65 and pregnant women, consider paying for one at your local pharmacist. For around £10 you can protect yourself for a whole year – just remember to immunised every year as flu strains are continuously evolving and you cannot rely on last year’s jab to protect you.
2) Get Good Hand Hygiene
Handwashing is one the most simplest but effective ways to protect yourself from sickness, including the flu. Washing your hands with good quality soap and warm water will reduce the chances of transferring germs to your eyes, mouth and nose. You must also make sure you dry your hands effectively, as damp hands spread germs rapidly. Always wash your hands before eating and after sneezing or coughing if possible. It goes without saying you should wash your hands after using the toilet too! If it’s difficult to get to soap and water, use a good quality hand sanitiser. Many people opt to sanitise their hands throughout the day, for extra protection.
3) Get Cleaning
It stands to reason that frequently touched surfaces will carry the greatest chance of cross contamination. Every day surfaces like kettles, mobile phones and TV remotes have been proven to carry large amounts of germs. In the office, be wary of dirty keyboards, mouse-mats and light-switches. Use antibacterial desk and equipment wipes if possible to keep your workspace as clean as possible. Studies have shown that when people were able to clean their own workspaces with antibacterial wipes, they had less time off sick.
4) Get Good Quality Sleep
A consistent lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your immune system, making you more vulnerable to sickness. One of the latest pieces of research on caffeine* has shown that drinking tea or coffee in the evening can suppress the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, by as much as 40 minutes. Cut back on caffeine and other stimulants – including using laptops, tablets and mobile phones – well before you decide to sleep. Your brain and body will thank you!
5) Get the Tissues Ready!
The most hygienic way to deal with sneezing and coughing is to use tissues rather than handkerchiefs – and encourage others to do so. Tissues should be binned immediately after use and hands should be washed or sanitised as soon as possible after.
Here’s to a healthy 2020 winter! For more information on keeping you and your staff healthy in the workplace, contact us now.