Stop Germs in Their Tracks
Handle right: Be cautious when in public places and with commonly touched surfaces. You should use your knuckle instead of your index finger to push elevator buttons, for instance. Carry a pen so you can use your own—especially in high-traffic spots such as pharmacies and banks—rather than shared writing implements, which can be disease magnets. At home, wipe down your TV remote and family computer keyboard with a disinfectant weekly—more often if someone in your household is sick.
Wash right: Scrub hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds (the time it takes to hum “Happy Birthday”). In a study from the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, recruits who washed their hands at least five times a day saw a 45 percent drop in respiratory illness compared with the previous year.
Breathe right: If the person next to you sneezes, you would be better off inhaling through your nose for the next few seconds, rather than breathing through your mouth. Your nose is the first line of defense against germs trying to enter your respiratory system. Your nasal passages are lined with cilia, little hairs that work t trap germs and other harmful particles in mucus before they can travel any farther. So the next time your co-worker sneezes, say “Bless you” quickly, then zip your lips and breathe through your nose.