You Won't Believe What's Lurking On Your Desk

by Nathalie O'Neill

I know you don't want to hear this, but your desk is probably dirtier than a toilet seat. What happens when you don't clean your desk often enough? The pens and pencils in front of you, along with your mouse and keyboard, might seem innocent enough, but they're actually full of germs. In fact, many scientists say you're better off eating your lunch in the bathroom than at your desk. Ick. The biggest culprits? Never actually cleaning your space, and failing to wash your hands as often as you should. Oh, and all that food you eat at your desk. In case you needed another reason to get out of the office and actually take advantage of your lunch break, just remember that crumbs play a big part in encouraging the growth of bacteria.

While this scary news is enough to make any germaphobe flip out, we should all just stay calm and get cleaner. Do yourself a favor, and break out those sterilizing wipes for a quick clean every week — and during flu season, make that a daily wipe-down. And as always, remember to wash your hands as often as you can throughout the day. It might sound childish, but one in five adults skip it after using the bathroom. Seriously, people? Here are six gross things that happen when you don't clean your desk.

1. 16 Million Microbes Call Your Office Keyboard Home

And you might want to consider investing in a keyboard vacuum cleaner, since many of these live under the keys.

2. The Common Cold Microbe Can Live On Your Keyboard and Mouse for Two Days

Do yourself a favor, and keep things extra clean in the winter months. You might just avoid catching a nasty cold.

3. Your Desk Drawers Gather Mold and Bacteria

Your desk drawers are the perfect place for all those lunchtime crumbs to fall. Said crumbs will then proceed to gather mold and bacteria as they sit unnoticed beneath a layer of paperclips and sticky notes. Definitely not as cute as a puppy.

4. Your Phone Collects Bacteria

Both your office phone and your cell phone are not only covered in everyday bacteria, but are also — get ready to cringe — no strangers to fecal bacteria. Raise your hand if you're reconsidering those long phone conversations you thought you enjoyed so much.

5. You Make It All Worse by Touching Your Face 16 Times Every Hour

And yet we wonder why we get zits.

6. Your Stress and Anxiety Increases

If this info grosses you out as much as it should, you're probably feeling a little bit stressed out about your workplace environment. So it's no surprise that a dirty desk leads to increased symptoms of stress and anxiety. Give your anxiety a break with a thorough — and regular! — clean.

Images: Joe St.Pierre Photography/Stocksy; Giphy