Workplace Safety Blog Post

10 Tips to Make It Through the Flu Season

Unfortunately, the flu season begins about the same time as peak of the holiday season. Which means we are out more, doing more, around more people, and our stress levels are at the highest points. This leaves us that more vulnerable to the flu virus that literally seems to shut our country down each year, both physically and financially.

How much does the flu cost?

  • In 2012, Americans missed more than 70 million workdays because of the flu.
  • If you have insurance, expect to pay out around $130 for your flu by the time you add up a doctor’s visit, prescription drugs and over-the-counter. No insurance? Expect to pay about $100 just for the medicine.
  • The flu costs about $7 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity to employers.
  • Indirect costs of the flu such as missed work and reduced productivity in the U.S.have been estimated at nearly $180 billion in profits and lost productivity.

What are the common flu symptoms?

Working during flu epidemyEveryone is unique and will handle the flu virus a little different, but here are the most common flu symptoms according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • diarrhea and vomiting

Cold and Flu Quiz: Can you tell the difference?

None of these sound like a good way to spend your holiday season or the start of the new year. Which is why I’ve composed the top 10 tips to make it through the flu season happy and healthy.

10 Tips to Make it Through the Flu Season

1. Get the Flu Shot

The CDC states that the best way to prevent getting the flu, is to get a flu shot every year. They say the best time is in early autumn when the flu season starts and supplies are more readily available.

2. Practice a Healthy Lifestyle

This is not as cliche as it sounds. A healthy lifestyle full of exercise and a nutritious diet will build a healthy immune system ready to fight of any viruses that come your way.

3. Get Your Sleep

If you are able to consistently get the recommended amount of sleep every night, you give your body a chance to repair cells and build a healthy immune system.

4. Find Ways to Lower Your Stress

Your stress level is a key factor in your ability to stay healthy. Anything you can do to lower your stress level, will increase your chances of staying healthy. Bring a book to work, go for a jog on lunch or a walk, whatever it is that makes you happy is a bonus for your day and will do wonders for your stress.

5. Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands as often as you can, but especially after touching something that could’ve been potentially exposed to germs. As a backup, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times just in case.

6. Keep Your Work Area Sanitized

An alcohol-based disinfectant can be the difference maker around the office this time of year. The office can be cesspool of germs and walking bacteria, use your disinfectant often to keep you germ-free at work.

7. Don’t Touch Your Eyes, Nose or Mouth too Often

Avoid the “T Zone” at all costs during the flu season. You never know what you might have attached to your hands, putting them around your face is a sure way to get you a few unwanted days off work.

8. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated keeps your immune system at peak performance. Once your immune system starts to go, you are that much more susceptible to the viruses that surround you.  Keeping a bottle of water around you will remind you to stay hydrated and keep your immune system working strong.

9. Avoid Close Contact With Sick People

They are the zombies that threaten your livelihood! Not really, but in all seriousness, avoid anyone who is sick. They will understand, seeing how it was this mistake that probably put them in the exact situation you’re trying to avoid.

10. If You’re Sick, Stay Home!

Bringing your illness into the workplace only keeps the circle of sickness spinning. Viruses travel quickly in the workplace, rather than be the cause of everyone’s misery, stay home and recover in solitude. Studies have shown that you will actually lengthen you illness by continuing to work through it. So stay home, rest up, and return when you’re better — everyone will be grateful.

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