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Study reveals one simple swap to reduce spread of office germs

Past studies reveal that computer keyboards can harbour 20,000 more germs than toilet seats, making office workstations hot-spots for picking up colds and other illnesses.

What can we do to prevent the spread of bacteria at work?

With sickness absence costing the UK economy £18 billion each year, it's no wonder firms are looking at ways to stop the spread of bacteria across their offices.

Now antimicrobial technology supplier BioCote has conducted an experiment to see if it really is possible to reduce bacterial growth on a workstation simply by swapping the standard equipment for antimicrobial equivalents.

Both our Penguin mouse and Number Slide keyboard were used in the experiment, alongside a variety of other products from brands also using BioCote technology.

A small, open plan office occupied by fifteen people was chosen as the location for the experiment, which took place between April and September 2017. Some products in the office were replaced with antimicrobial equivalents; however, both treated and untreated products were used in the same way and subjected to the same cleaning routine.

Weekly swabs were taken of each product, which were then plated in agar jelly and left to cultivate. The bacterial growth on both treated and untreated equivalents were then compared.

This is an image of the cultivated bacteria from a Penguin mouse, compared with an untreated mouse.

The results show:

- The Penguin reduced bacteria growth by 83%.

- The Number Slide keyboard reduced bacteria growth by 89%.

This is a real life demonstration of clear, remarkable antimicrobial performance on products that are regularly subjected to recontamination from direct contact with human hands.

The study report concludes: "In this study we have clearly demonstrated a significant reduction in the bacteria present on products treated with silver based antimicrobial technology versus near identical, untreated, counterparts. This finding constitutes a compelling argument for the necessity for antimicrobial products to be introduced into office spaces on a larger scale to improve hygiene levels in the working environment."

The report also emphasised the importance of keeping up a regular cleaning ritual for office equipment.

You can read the full BioCote report here ›

In addition to our BioCote treated products, we also provide a range of other antimicrobial products.

See all antimicrobial products ›