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In addition to our own BPI Training Center, we utilize the world-leading services of IICRC/The Clean Trust for advanced-level carpet care training and certification. We are also members of the Building Service Contractors Association International.

BPI Building Services Blog

Wednesday
Dec312014

6 Simple behaviors that lead to reduced illness in Lawrence

In the last decade, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on reducing health risks through diet, exercise and smoking. Research indicates that we can reduce the frequency and severity of diseases over the course of our life span by keeping a healthy lifestyle. However, there are nearly 91,000 residents of Lawrence who work or play with our family members every day. How do we keep them from infecting us (or us from infecting them) with cold, flu, or other transmittable illnesses?

 In general, the most dangerous time to become infected is before symptoms begin. Once an illness is evident, infected persons generally feel less inclined to come to work, school, or social events. So, our challenge is to be astute in following these guidelines when we have no indication that an illness is lurking nearby.

Stay current on immunizations. The evidence is clear that childhood vaccines save lives. Annual flu and pneumonia vaccination is highly recommended, particularly for the elderly and those with chronic health concerns.

Wash your hands. You've heard this mantra your whole life, and it is easy to ignore. However, the evidence is quite clear that by applying soap and humming the childhood tune, "Happy Birthday to You" the quality and length of your life is likely to be significantly improved. Since you have a few seconds while humming, give yourself permission to enjoy the feeling of the soap as you squish it between your fingers, rub your fingernails, and give yourself a mini hand massage! This exercise may have more than bacterial benefit. A few seconds of relaxing soap therapy could release enough stress to get you through a complex problem or help you cope with a situation you find distressing.

Avoid touching your face. For most of us, breaking this habit requires diligent attentiveness for about three weeks. The challenge is in recognizing when you are doing it. Here are some strategic steps for reducing this unhealthy habit.

1) Take a day to focus on awareness. Make some visual signs for the areas of your life where you spend time. The couch, kitchen, car, desk... wherever you are likely to be for 30 minutes or more. These are areas where we are generally focused on something.

2) Every time your hands touch your face, make a mental note or place a tick mark on a notepad. Think about what might have compelled your hand to move to your face, and what alternative action you might have taken.

3) Buy a box of tissues and keep them nearby. Learn to grab a tissue before your hand moves to your face. This provides a fresh barrier that can be disposed of after each use.

Avoid sharing anything that goes into your mouth. Forks, straws, cups, and beverage containers are great places for virus and bacteria organisms to wait patiently for transportation to their next host. Sharing food and drinks can be a wonderful bonding experience, so plan accordingly with multiple containers or plates and flatware in order to ensure that you and your loved ones remain healthy.

Don't use public pens. Keep a pen in your pocket at all times, so you don't have to use the one on the counter. That pen may appear to be innocent and helpful, but it is carrying the bacteria of a dozen or more people who may not yet be showing symptoms of an illness.

Encourage your employer to engage the services of a professional cleaning company. This is particularly important if you share a reception area or restrooms with coworkers. Professional cleaning companies are trained in eliminating harmful bacteria and viruses from light switches, break room tables, sink fixtures, and push plates on doors among dozens of other surfaces that could transmit disease. The benefit to your family, friends and coworkers will be evident, but it is also of benefit to your company in the form of reduced absenteeism and greater morale. By engaging a locally owned company, you will also be providing jobs to local workers and increasing the economic health of your community - but we will be discussing that in a future article.

Have feedback for us? We are very interested in your ideas and thoughts for helpful information to improve the quality of lives in our community. Call us at 785-842-6264 or write bpibuildingservices@sunflower.com.

Author: Julie Trober, BPI Commercial Operations Manager.