You’ll probably want to stop eating lunch at your desk once you learn about all the bacteria living there and the danger they pose to you and your co-workers. According to Yahoo! News, researchers from the American Society for Microbiology analyzed the microorganisms in offices located in three cities: San Diego, Toronto and Flagstaff, Arizona.
The team spent 12 months examining the carpets, ceiling tiles and walls of these settings. The findings suggested there weren’t many different kinds of bacteria, largely because the surfaces were dry and, therefore, inhospitable for such microorganisms. But, the types of bacteria most commonly found in offices can apparently survive without moisture or nutrients for several weeks.
In an article for The Conversation, Joanna Verran and James Redfern of Manchester Metropolitan University wrote,
So, if you’ve eaten lunch at your desk recently, or if it’s been a while since you cleaned your keyboard or phone, the chances are that your colleagues aren’t the only life forms you’re sharing your work space with.
It appears eating lunch at your desk is essentially feeding bacterial communities near your computer because bacteria can multiply if they come in contact with water and nutrients such as dust and crumbs.
The authors recommend routinely keeping your desk clean and dry, even if you don’t eat there often.