To stay as healthy as you can, try to avoid touching these especially germy spots:

  • Airplane food trays and seat pockets – Those nasty bugs can stick around for days on planes. Research from the American Society for Microbiology shows that MRSA lasted longest (168 hours) on material from a seat-back pocket and E. coli lasted longest (96 hours) on material from the armrest of planes.
  • Subway turnstiles and bus ticket machines – They’re touched by so many hands and hardly ever disinfected, so it’s no wonder that a study from the UK found that commuters are six times more likely to develop an acute respiratory infection if they recently traveled by bus or train.
  • Office coffee stations and water coolers – We stay away from coughing, sneezing coworkers, but then we drink from the same coffee pot right after them. Other germy things to avoid in the office: doorknobs and other people’s keyboards.
  • Liquid soap in washrooms – Research shows one in four soap dispensers in public restrooms are contaminated with bacteria – including fecal matter.
  • Aisle seats in planes, trains and theaters – More people touch those seats while trying to find their own, so you’re more likely to be exposed to something if you sit there.
  • Salt and pepper shakers – They’re rarely cleaned in restaurants and when’s the last time you gave yours at home a wipe down with a Lysol wipe?
  • Exercise equipment at the gym – Bacteria love moisture and they love sweat even more. In one study, rhinoviruses – the most common virus to cause the common cold – were found still clinging to exercise equipment, even after cleaning. So get your hand sanitizer ready, you’re gonna need it.

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