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Illness can spread quickly in an office environment. One co-worker may be sick today, and several others may have the same illness a few days later. This negatively affects productivity and creates unnecessary stress throughout the office. More than that, it causes personal discomfort and impacts your life in other direct ways. While some illness is to be expected when you work in an office, you can take several steps to stay as healthy as possible.

Focus on Personal Health and Fitness

A great way to prevent illness is to focus on your well-being throughout the year. When you eat a healthy, balanced diet, get ample sleep at night and exercise regularly, your immune system may be in excellent condition. This enables your body to fight germs that you may be exposed to in an office. You can also get a regular physical and a dental exam to further promote superior health.

Wash Hands Regularly

While you understandably want your immune system to be in great shape year-round, you also want to limit your exposure to germs as much as possible. Washing your hands is one of the most important steps that you can take to decrease exposure to germs at work and in any other locations you may visit throughout the day. Sick co-workers may touch hundreds of different surfaces over the course of the day, and you may walk in right behind them and touch these same surfaces. Washing hands removes these germs from your skin so that they do not enter your body. You can also keep a bottle of hand sanitizer at your desk so that you can periodically kill germs in between trips to the sink.

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Avoid Sick Co-Workers

Some of your co-workers will, unfortunately, come to work when they know that they are contagious. They may have a lingering cold that takes several weeks to get over, and it may be impractical to take that much time off of work. Perhaps they are just coming down with something, or they are trying to work through an illness to complete a major project. Regardless of why they are in the office, you should actively avoid sick co-workers as much as possible. If you must be around them, try to avoid breathing their air after they sneeze or cough. Use hand sanitizer after being around them as well.

Staying healthy in an office environment can be challenging at times, but many illnesses can be avoided with proper action. Use these tips going forward to fight illness and remain healthier at work.