When scientists took a close look at work environments in San Francisco; Tucson, Ariz.; and New York they found that not all offices have a potentially equal impact on health. The males’ cubicles and work spaces differed in an important way from the spaces occupied by females.
The men’s offices contained significantly more bacteria than did the women’s. The scientists identified more than 500 bacterial genera in all. Most of the microbes came from human skin, nasal passages, mouths and intestinal cavities. If these bacteria can make you sick, the offices of men carry a much larger risk.
“Humans are spending an increasing amount of time indoors, yet we know little about the diversity of bacteria and viruses where we live, work and play,” says researcher Scott Kelley. “This study provides detailed baseline information about the rich bacterial communities in typical office settings and insight into the sources of these organisms.”