There’s no doubt that this season we are seeing more cases of colds, coughs and flu than ever before. After the hot summer and the ongoing heatwave that the UK experienced, it seems that more bacterial and viral infections are thriving in the Winter months. This doesn’t bode well for many of us, who have children with immature immune systems, where the infections spreads quickly around the household taking each person one by one. In an office environment, poor hygiene and close proximity to colleagues means that a whole department can fall victim. This can be distressing for employers who suddenly find that their whole staff base is sick and can’t work. Is there a way we can avoid it, or do we simply need to accept it? Here’s a few tips to staying healthy this season:
- Get a flu jab – We are at the end of flu jab season, but bear in mind for the future that getting a flu jab if you have asthma, recurrent colds/coughs or work in a school environment is a good idea. Children under 5 also get a free flu vaccine nasal spray which can help stop the spread of flu. Contrary to popular belief, getting a flu jab does not give you flu. You may have a couple of days following the jab with a sniffle or slight temperature, but this is nothing compared to getting the flu and ending up in bed for a couple of weeks. Remember the flu is nothing like a cold – it can leave you completely unable to function for some time.
- Take a multivitamin – Vitamin D is particularly important at this time of year as there is very little sunshine that the body can absorb. Multivitamins need to be consumed over several months for you to feel the whole effect of them. You can get them from your local supermarket or pharmacy and are not expensive to buy – so start taking them ASAP!
- Eat fruit – Fruit and vegetables are so important and give the body a much needed boost of natural vitamins and minerals at this time of year. Fruit delivery company Fruitful Office, who deliver fruit baskets to companies across the UK, say that their clients have seen a notable improvement since staff ate regular fruit. The health benefits are numerous, including fighting many common colds and coughs, strengthening the immune system and as a knock on effect, improving staff sick rates as well as productivity.
- Wash hands regularly – Hand washing is important in getting rid of germs and so people should wash their hands before eating, after using the bathroom and when they get in from work or school. The CDC released these important statistics about hand washing:
- Hand washing reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhoea by 23-40%
- It reduces illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%
- It reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21%
- It reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57%
Good luck with staying healthy this season!