We spend a lot of time at our desks, whether it's to answer emails, draw up proposals or do research, and while we work, we unknowingly shed millions of bacteria and it seems men are the dirtiest of them all.
While scientists are aware that we're a veritable breeding pit for bacteria, research into what exactly these are has been little. Until now that is. Scott Kelly of the University of San Diego and his team took it upon themselves to swab the desks of 10 offices.
Gathering 450 desk, arm rest, phone receiver and keyboard samples from offices in four different US states (also taking note of the gender of the person inhabiting each desk), the researchers found a wide range of bacteria, including mucous membrane, human skin and even that from plant and soil.
While the keyboard, mouse and desktop generally offered up a smaller margin of bacteria, chairs and phones were a veritable zoo, offering up human skin and bacteria of oral, nasal and intestinal origin.
Men were found to be far more generous with their bacteria shedding than women. Kelly and his team had two possible explanations for this finding. First, they thought that since men are typically larger than women, logically they'd produce and shed more bacteria.
Going on previous research, the second explanation was simply that men are just dirtier. Studies have shown that men tend to skip on washing their hands and brushing their teeth far more frequently than women, so it stands to reason that they're more likely to carry more bacteria around with them.