Male-only offices 'host more germs'
Posted Fri, 01 Jun 2012
There are significantly higher numbers of bacteria in male-only workplaces than in female ones, according to a new US study.
Researchers took 450 swab samples from 90 offices occupied by men and women in New York, San Francisco and Tucson, Arizona, and identified a total of 500 types of bacteria. The majority of the bacteria originated from human skin, noses, ears and "intestinal cavities", the scientists said.
Some of the highest concentrations of bugs were found on chairs and telephones, while lower levels were discovered on desktops, keyboards and computer mice. The scientists were unable to say why offices in San Francisco appear to be cleaner than in the other two cities in the study.
With regards the gender split, the researchers - led by Dr Scott Kelly of San Diego State University in California - pointed to differing levels of hygiene between men and women.
In the online journal Public Library of Science ONE, the scientists commented: "Men are known to wash their hands and brush their teeth less frequently than women, and are commonly perceived to have a more slovenly nature."