Work It Out: Cell Phone Hygiene At The Gym

Cell Phones Used At The Gym Can Spread Infections

If you’re like the millions of people around the world, you hit the gym for results. Whether it’s the desire to take or keep off pounds, build muscles or for the awesome cardiovascular benefits, exercise is one of the best ways to keep healthy and reduce stress. But can using a cell phone at the gym be harmful to your health?

It’s been well documented that that fitness clubs and work out equipment are generally loaded with germs, and health experts suggest wiping down equipment, work out balls, and yoga mats after every use.

But another piece of workout equipment that is increasingly popular in gyms has been ignored by hygiene experts until now, and that’s cell phones and smartphones. The technology innovations of cell phones and smartphones allows gym goers more ways than ever to keep track of their workouts, listen to music, or chat with a friend while on the treadmill.

As a result, more gym goers are using their cell phones during a workout and virulent bacteria that often gathers on the equipment is transferred to their phones which later comes in contact with the face.
If your cell phone follows you to your workout, the benefits of good exercise may be outweighed by the risks of infection. To maintain a clean bill of health after a sweaty exercise routine, gym goers are strongly encouraged to clean their cell phone or smartphone after use at a fitness club.

By cleaning a cell phone that was used at the gym, workout buffs are reducing their exposure to new health risks that can cause acne or rashes on the face, or worse, a staph or MRSA infection which can be deadly.

While it won’t make your workout any easier, wiping down your cell phone after use at the gym is sure to prevent trips to the doctors and various infections that can be transferred by your cell phone.

Tell us gym goers, how does your phone factor into your workout routine?  You likely wash your hands and shower right after a workout, but do you ever clean the cell phone you used during your exercise?


Doctors: Get The 411 On Your Cell Phone

A widespread pandemic is spreading in hospitals.

Visit any hospital and you’ll see not just patients, but doctors and nurses talking, texting and emailing on their cell phones.

There was a time when medical professionals frowned upon the use of mobile phones in hospitals, worrying it would detract from patient care or interfere with various devices, but today it’s simply the norm.

In fact, mobile usage by medical professionals is on a tremendous rise as over 1,500 medical apps for smartphone help doctors stay connected to colleagues, families, or vital patient information.

A cell phone is a vital tool for any doctor or nurse . But while a great electronic innovation, as a personal item research has shown it is among the most bacteria infested surface we come in contact with every day. The health risks to medical professionals using cell phones next to their face and next to patients is among the greatest due to the environment in which they work, namely hospitals, medical facilities, and in the field.

The virulent germs that build up on common cell phones, which include Staphylococcus aureus, is harmful to everyone but especially to patients with diminished immune systems. It's obvious using an unclean cell phone can also significantly increase the risk of noscomial infections. By keeping cell phones and smartphones clean, Doctors and medical staff can improve patient health and hygiene while utilizing the latest technology in their practice.

As a medical professional, how does your cell phone enhance your practice? What’s the one feature you can’t live without? Do you think hospitals should mandate cell phone cleaning for staff?


Keeping Family Cell Phones Clean

Moms are truly ringmasters, whether it’s remembering ballet or soccer schedules, dinner parties or date night with the hubby, today’s multi-tasking moms juggle a lot to keep the show running. At the top of mom’s to-do list is keeping their family healthy and germ free. We all remember our own mother’s mantra of “wash your hands” and moms today are no different. Now there’s one more thing savvy moms need to keep clean and that’s the family’s cell phones.  Most modern families have at least one cell phone or smartphone per member and odds are they’ve all gone unwashed until now.

Research has shown that an average cell phone, from all the use it gets throughout the day, can accumulate more germs and bacteria than a public toilet seat, a pretty disgusting fact when you consider the various places our cell phones go, including the kitchen and the dinner table. Doctors have said cell phone hygiene ranks right up there with hand hygiene, meaning if you’re washing your hands, you should be doing the same with your cell phone.

Knowing that your little ones might use your cell phone as a teething tool, and your teens are likely glued to their 24/7, it seems like a no-brainer not to keep the entire family’s phones clean and germ free.

Sadly there‘s no app for cleaning your cell phone, but the solution is almost as easy. Doctors recommend at the end of the day, giving your cell phone a good cleaning with an anti-bacterial agent. By doing so you’ll help remove bacteria buildup on your phone, eradicating potentially harmful germs that threaten the whole family.

We all know, the show must go on. By wiping down the family’s cell phones every now and then you’ll make sure the cast and crew never miss a beat.

Tell us Moms, what apps make your life easier? What’s your recommendation for an app that reminds you to clean all the mobile phones in your home?


The Dirty Truth: Moms and Cellphones

As a busy mom, your schedule’s filled from sun up to sundown. Whether you are buying groceries, feeding the kids, coordinating car pool, hiring contractors, or shopping, your cell phone is a vital tool that helps get it done. It keeps you organized, informed and connected to the things you care about.

But did you know you could be doing all of your daily tasks with thousands of virulent bacteria right by your side and usually against your face?  As you may already know research has shown an average cell phone is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Several studies prove that the surface of an average cell phone has more germs on it per square in than a public toilet seat, a door knob, an even the bottom of your shoe.

How exactly do these germs accumulate? Think about all the places you visit and usually use your phone on a daily basis; the kitchen, bathroom, (you know who you are) your children, husband or friends using your phone.  As your phone travels, germs and bacteria like Staphylococcus Aureuss which causes the dreaded staph infection set up camp.

While we always wash our hands, until now our cell phones have been getting the short end of the stick. Doctors who have looked at the research are saying cleaning cell phones is near hand hygiene in importance for infection prevention.

For today's on the go tech savvy super moms, it’s more important than ever to safeguard their health by cleaning their own beloved, and useful, cell phone regularly.

As an on-the-go mom, are you worried about germs on your cell phone? What measures are you taking to prevent the spread of germs to and from your cell phone?

A New Battleground In The Fight Against Germs

Once upon a time, connecting with our loved ones wasn’t so easy.  Families had one phone and that was their only way of reaching the outside world.  Of course times have changed.  Moms, Dads, teens, even the youngest members of the family have cell phones or smartphones.  They can talk, text, listen to music and connect to the Internet like never before, but may be unaware of a growing health risk undeterred by many doctors: dirty, germy and bacteria filled cell phones that have the potential to make the whole family sick.

Researchers have only just begun to discover the various forms of bacteria that may be lurking on every surface of your cell phone. According to a March 2009 study in the Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials infectious disease and epidemiology specialists are already warning that mobile phones used by health care workers may increase the risk of hospital acquired bacterial infections. But this the risks aren’t limited to just health care workers.

Other culture tests of cell phones reported by ABC’s Good Morning Americafound a multitude of virulent bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus(Staph  infection) e-coli, meningitis as well as the oh so unpleasant infectious flesh-eating MRSA on many cell phones.

Not only are dirty cell phones posing infectious health risks but they can also affect your skin. The British Association of Dermatologists cited in a published study that many cell users aredeveloping red or itchy rashes they’ve dubbed “mobile phone dermatitis.”

Today a  culprit behind a teenager’s breakout could be build up of oil, dirt and even make-up on their phone more than anything else, and mobile hygiene practices are becoming essential.

There’s no question that cell phones make our lives easier but it’s important to recognize that like all personal items, the surface of a cell phone can get pretty dirty, and when you consider how often we use them, that we hold them next to our face, and use them in places like during a meal or in bed, keeping these useful devices clean is more important than ever.

Doctors recommend regular cleaning of cell phones, placing its importance "near hand hygiene,” which means if you regularly wash your hands, you should be giving that same TLC to your cell phone.
If you're wondering how often you should clean your phone, visit the Mobile Hygiene Blog at www.mobilehygiene.org to learn emerging prevention tips, public service announcements and discussions on best cell phone hygiene practices.

Do you think your cell phones ever made you sick? Have you ever experienced a rash on just one side of your face? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Skin Deep: Acne, Teens and How Moms Can Help

The teen years are never kind. Mood swings, growth spurts and acne outbursts are all things us adults are all too happy to forget. As a mom, you can’t do anything about your teen’s temperament or the fact that you totally embarrass them simply by opening your mouth. But if you’ve noticed an increase in acne breakouts or skin irritations on your teen’s face, there may be something you can do besides espousing hand and face hygiene and spending thousands on acne treatment.  Check the surface of their favorite device, their cell phone.

As your teen presses that phone against their face, natural oils and dirt builds up with everything else that phone has touched such as a table top, loose change…or worse. While they wash their face daily (you hope) the cell phone until now isn’t so lucky. Over time, all that yuckiness is transferred from the phone to their face, which doctors have warned can lead to a variety of skin conditions from mild acne and to staph infections.
Many people, especially teens, go months or even years without ever cleaning their cell phone. And  we all know, teens use their cell phones for hours on end, sending a mind numbing 2,700 text messages per month, calling friends, and if you’re lucky, you.

Since various tests have  shown an average cell phone is the most germ infested item we touch every day, containing more germs than a toilet seat or the bottom of your purse, the bacteria that accumulates on the device from daily use and reaches our face, mouth and ears is increasingly threatening to our personal hygiene, and can lead to skin conditions and infectious diseases for teens and adults alike.

Luckily, the solution is simple. All you need to do is encourage your teen to practice good “mobile hygiene”, and clean his or her cell phone once in a while, just like we wash our hands and clean other personal items. By doing so, and perhaps referring them to cleanmycellphone.com, you not only sound cool because for once you’re the one who knows of the latest cell phone trend, but you’re also helping them protect their health as mobile technology increasingly enters every facet of their daily lives.

Help your teen more effectively fight acne in today's mobile age by cleaning their cell phone.

Tell us moms, what do you think is the best way to encourage your teen to clean his/her cell phone?

About Mobile Hygiene

The Mobile Hygiene Campaign has two goals: spreading awareness about bacteria accumulation on cell phones and smartphones, and developing best mobile hygiene practices for industries and individuals through research and discussion.

Health officials and cell phone users take note: The recent rise in cell phone usage has introduced new pathogenic and dermatological health risks that affect patient rooms, cafeterias, schools, and even our homes. US based research on bacteria accumulation on cell phones, and publishing of guidelines and best practices for hygienic cell phone use by medical professionals, food handlers, and the general public is needed now more than ever.

Cell phone and smartphones’ increasing functionality and affordable prices have resulted in a global wide reliance on staying connected. Cell phones are now commonplace whether it be the dinner table, the kitchen, a restaurant, the gym, or even the bathroom. These factors and the heat generated by cell phones, contribute to the harboring of bacteria on the device at alarming levels and when we consider a cell phone's daily contact with the face, mouth, ears and hands, the dire health risks of using germ infested mobile devices are obvious.


Bacteria accumulation on cell phones was not cause for public concern in 2000 when 90 million US mobile users used their phone for about 2.5 hours a month to make voice calls only.

Fast forward a decade, and 260,000,000 Americans own some form of handheld mobile communication device, mostly a cell phone or smartphone, and with technology advances, usage increases daily.

Cell phone technology, perhaps unlike any other electronic or non-electronic consumer good, has indiscriminately penetrated every user group imaginable, from text-happy teens and tech savvy moms, to two-waying construction workers and twitter conscious politicians, to medical and legal professionals who access crucial information on the go, to name only a few examples.

Compared to even five years ago, most of today’s cell phone and smartphone users are power users. Not only do they talk for about 13 hours a month on their device, most of those hours with the phone pressed against the face, but touch and handle their phones countless times  a day to text message, email, schedule an appointment, listen to music, surf the web, or perform numerous specialty tasks from checking patient records to updating facebook and twitter.

The Mobile Hygiene Movement encourages health professionals from microbiologists, epidemiologists, skin care doctors, dermatologists, to behavioral scientist and occupational safety consultants to take note of how and where we are using our cell phones, and draft new guidelines and prevention tips, make announcements and commission studies, and help raise awareness about the health risks of using an unclean cell phone.

The Mobile Hygiene Movement embraces technology. We love smart ideas like paying for coffee with cell phones, the mobile internet, and all the other exciting and growing new applications for these incredibly useful and increasingly personal devices.

Cell phones and smartphones are here to stay for the near future, but so are the pathogens that build up on them if we don’t do anything about it.

If you’re concerned about an infectious disease or skin reaction from using an unclean cell phone, contact your doctor.

You can also visit the Mobile Hygiene Blog at www.mobilehygiene.org to learn more about prevention tips, public service announcements and discussions on best cell phone hygiene practices.

Cell Phone Hygiene In Hospitals Go Hand In Hand

In an increasingly health conscious and informed world, we’re all about keeping germs and bacteria from invading our homes and our lives. No one works harder to do this than doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel. Medical professionals know firsthand about the dangers of bacteria and infections to patient’s’ health and work hard to keep germs at bay. That’s why hand washing has become a mantra in hospitals all over the world.
Sanitizers may be located in every hallway and patient’s room but there’s a new potential contaminator lurking out there, tucked away in a doctors lab coat next to keys or cash, a nurse’s scrubs, or lying on an administrator’s desk; their trusty cell phone or smartphone.
Research has shown mobile phones arenow breeding grounds for dangerous pathogens and illnesses such as e-coli, staph and MRSA.  Other studies have produced alarming results, including one formal testing of cell phones in a hospital that found  95% of hospital staff s phones tested were covered with multiple strands of virulent bacteria.
While medical personnel use their phones for daily use, to talk or text or even update their Facebook status, their cell phones and smartphones also allow them to get real time updateson patients, access medical records or keep in touch with their own families when they’re logging long hours at the hospital.  There is no doubt mobile phone technology has improved patient care and we are only at the beginning of the integration of technology into the medical practice and administration. But with nosocomial infections still a major threat to patients in many hospitals, the development and promotion of mobile hygiene practices in health care facilities is more important than ever.
As a medical professional, how often do you use a cell phone or smart phone throughout the day? How has your cell phone enhanced your ability to do your job?