Wash Up for Health!

Share this post

Washing your hands is the first line of defense against colds, flus, and other viruses and bacteria. It’s so effective at preventing disease that the Center for Disease Control calls it a do-it-yourself vaccine. October 15 is Global Handwashing Day. To commemorate this auspicious day, here are a few frequently asked questions about the art of handwashing (based on recommendations from the CDC).

Q: How exactly are you supposed to wash your hands?

A: Let’s go through it step by step.

  1. Wet your hands. Use running water—warm or cold.
  2. Lather. It doesn’t matter what kind of soap you use—bar soap, foamy soap, scented soap—use something you’ll enjoy! Conserve water by turning off the tap while you scrub.
  3. Scrub. For t-w-e-n-t-y whole seconds. Yes, that may be longer than you expected, but you don’t have to think of it as a waste of time: Meditate. Make a grocery list in your head. Perfect your presentation. Sing the alphabet song. Celebrate the act of protecting yourself against disease.
  4. Rinse. Turn the water on and rinse.
  5. Dry. Use a clean paper towel or air-dry your hands.

Q: When should you wash your hands?
A: Handwashing is important in many situations.

  • Always wash your hands after using the restroom.
  • Cooking with raw meat? Wash your hands before and after handling it.
  • If you’re preparing a meal, wash your hands before handling any food. After you wash your vegetables, wash your hands again. Meat and fresh vegetables can both carry bacteria.
  • Wash your hands after you return home from work or errands. Make it a habit—walk in your door and visit the closest sink. Why? Well, think about how many doors you’ve opened, railings you’ve touched, and hands you’ve shaken.
  • If you’re sick, wash your hands anytime you think about it—especially after coughing, blowing your nose, or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands after handling animals or animal/human waste.

Q: Why is handwashing effective?
A: It’s simple! The water and soap work together to get rid of germs that can make us sick. The germs are scrubbed off and go down the drain, where they can no longer be transferred to a doorknob, onto another person’s hand, into prepared food, or onto a shared computer mouse, for instance.

Q: Does antibacterial hand sanitizer work just as well as handwashing?
A: No. But it is a good alternative when there’s no access to running water. Be sure the sanitizer contains at least 60 percent alcohol. While sanitizers can remove some germs, they do not remove all types of germs, and should not be used instead of handwashing when running water is available.

Q: How should I celebrate Global Handwashing Day?
A: Wash your hands and spread the word!

Dana Lester has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. She is passionate about holistic wellness, eating fruit, and writing.
 

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent WorkLife articles:

Team chat apps take over the office
June 7, 2018
Getting out of the office can strengthen your team
May 29, 2018
All they want is a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t
May 24, 2018
Creating a mom-friendly office
May 17, 2018
5 tips for managing remote workers effectively
May 8, 2018
Declutter, clean, and decorate your way to a more productive workspace
May 1, 2018
How to set boundaries with social media
April 24, 2018
The employee-retaining magic of doing good
April 10, 2018
Five simple ways to update the office kitchen
April 2, 2018
Telemedicine is changing the face of mental health treatment
March 27, 2018

More recent articles:

Food:
Four ways to ensure you’re making good chocolate choices
June 19, 2018
Food:
Have 10 pounds of strawberries? Here's what to do!
June 1, 2018
Food:
U-pick farms let you harvest your own dinner
May 25, 2018
Use a medicine ball to get in shape for summer racket sports
May 10, 2018
Turn your cubicle into a gym
May 3, 2018
13 farms in 11 states awarded grants from The FruitGuys Community Fund
April 20, 2018
Sculpt your lower body with one key move.
April 19, 2018
Five healthy food trends to explore
April 17, 2018
Strengthen your lower body to improve body balance
April 5, 2018
The training before the training
March 29, 2018

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.