Ways You’re Begging to Catch a Cold

Do you get a cold like clockwork, year after year? If you do, chances are you unwittingly performing a few of these cold-welcoming habits. It’s time to stop shaking hands and going to work sick (despite what your employer says) and to start washing those hands properly and getting adequate sleep.

Here are seven ways you’re begging to catch a cold this fall and winter…

You’re a Stress Case

A few days of stress won’t sentence you to a cold. However, if you constantly put yourself in a state of stress—between unreasonable work, family, and social obligations—you will inevitably wear yourself down.

According to a study featured in Psychology Today, stress places undue stress on the immune system, which leads to an inability to fight off germs and viruses. The study from Carnegie Mellon University found that cortisol, or stress hormone, damages the immune system, meaning if you’re stressed, you’ll fall sick about 90-percent of the time.

You’re a Constant Face-Toucher

Think about how many times you touch your face throughout the day—when you scratch your nose, pinch your lip, cradle your chin, and rub your eyes—germs are migrating from your fingers to your face.

Whenever your hands or fingers come into contact with your mucous membranes (mouth, nose, or eyes) you’re giving germs a free pass to infiltrate your body and make you sick. So do yourself a favor and keep your hands off yourself!

You Insist on Shaking Hands

Formerly, and in a business setting, the handshake remains a go-to greeting. However, clasping hands with strangers opens you up to their germs. Who knows if David sneezed in the car on the way to your meeting, or gasp, picked his nose!

You’ll never know. Instead, try a fist bump or a good old fashioned verbal greeting, and if you have to tell them you’re coming down with something to avoid the hand shaking. According to stats from the American Journal of Infection Control, approximately 80-percent of illnesses are communicated by hand to hand and hand to mouth contact.

You Skimp on Shut-Eye

Do you skimp on sleep? Tisk, tisk from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which reports you leave yourself open to illness if you sleep less than 6-hours per night.

In fact, the risk of illness rises with every hour of sleep missed. The study reports that those who routinely sleep only 6-hours per night are 40-percent more likely to catch a cold—while those running on less than 5-hours of sleep are 45-percent more likely to get sick…and so on.

You Expose Yourself to Germs

Sure, germs are invisible to the naked eye, however, they’re rampant on people, surfaces, and even transmitted via our own hands. Think about your commute to work this morning. Did you happen to touch a stair railing, door handle, and your smartphone?

Those surfaces are virtually teeming with germs. So before you grab lunch, wash those hands thoroughly. Or if you come into contact with a sick co-worker or child, wash your hands before your make dinner.

You Go to Work Sick

Maybe your employer is one of those nasty dictators who expects you to drag your sick self to work to complete whatever routine report that can, in reality, wait until you’re feeling better. If that’s the case, you may feel this point is out of your control.

It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where coming to work sick is construed as a badge of loyalty. In reality, and according to the Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health, if just one employee goes to work sick, germs cover more than 50-percent of all communal areas in an office (including the hands of fellow employees) within 4-hours.

You Don’t Wash Up Properly

Do you recite the alphabet when you wash your hands, all the way from A to Z? Most adults perform a quick-splash in the sink after a trip to the public restroom, which significantly increases the risk of contracting a cold.

Centers for Disease Control health officials claim adequate washing includes lathering the hands with soap and running water for 20-seconds, or longer. However, in the absence of a public restroom, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel will reduce changes of illness by 60-percent.