Workplace May Increase Your Risk Of Catching Cold

(NUI) - It is essential to keep healthy and productive in the workplace, but avoiding illness can be difficult.

The common cold accounts for more than 58 million sick days taken each year by employees and can lead to serious secondary illnesses, such as upper respiratory infection and pneumonia. You don't want to be the person who starts the epidemic in your office.

Maximization of office space has led to more people in smaller spaces and less fresh air. This close quarter environment makes offices ideal places for the transmission of respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold. Couple that with cramped commuter favorites, such as carpools, subways and buses, and the typical workday is ideal for the transmission of the cold virus.

Unfortunately, no vaccines and no surefire solutions are available. You can take every precaution imaginable and still get a cold. However, you can find ways to decrease your chances of getting a cold.

Here are some tips to help you as you try to avoid the common cold, courtesy of Dr. Mark Roberts, an occupational medicine specialist and former medical director for several Fortune 500 companies:

* Wash your hands. Washing your hands is the single most effective way to keep from catching a cold or spreading one to someone else. Both colds and the flu can be passed via inanimate objects, such as doorknobs and telephones. If you come in contact with a contaminated surface and then touch your nose, mouth or eyes, the virus can enter your body.

* Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Giving germs a powerful launching pad into the air makes it easier for them to spread and infect. Using your handkerchief or tissue as a barrier will keep germs contained.

* Practice healthy habits. Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep and exercising can help you maintain a strong immune system to keep illness at bay.

* Avoid sharing with people who have colds. Sharing food, drinks, utensils, dishes or cups with anyone who has a cold will greatly increase your chances of getting the virus.

If despite these efforts you still come down with a cold, consider taking Cold-Eeze, which contains zinc gluconate glycine, proven in several clinical studies, including one published last year in the American Journal of Therapeutics, to reduce the duration of a cold by almost half. Taking products such as these will help you get better faster so you can return to your normal routine.

For more information on avoiding and treating the common cold, go to

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