Commuters avoid germs on way to work – by taking longer or more costly route

Choosing a longer (46%) or more costly (51%) commuting route, and wearing disposable gloves on public transport (14%) are the top measures Brits will go to – to avoid germs on their travels to and from work.

Two-thirds of adults (67%), who commute on public transport for work, will even shower or take a bath as soon as they get home, in a bid to maintain good personal hygiene.

And 69%, of the 1,100 people polled, are firmly of the opinion that you should not sit on or in bed with outdoor clothes on.

Many of those polled will also steer well clear of handrails on public transport, with 79% avoiding touching them on buses, trains, or tubes, and 55% doing the same on escalators.

And half have a “preferred regular spot” they use on public transport each day, for hygiene reasons.

However, more than a fifth (22%) say they would still take public transport during peak times even if they had a cough or a cold – and 21% of these would hold the handrails.

A spokesman from Puressentiel, which commissioned the study, said: “Whilst many of us have adapted and improved our commuting hygiene practices since the pandemic, from our research, we’ve seen that some are still unnecessarily contaminating their homes and others', unbeknownst to them, from their commute.

“The dangers of pollution outside aren’t new revelations, but many are still unaware of the dangers found indoors. In the UK, 38% use air fresheners to keep indoors air clean, and 46% burn candles.

“These cosmetic measures only add to the problem – it is far more important to address the root causes, improve air flow, and adopt measures which remove or neutralise these indoor pollutants.”

But hygiene does not seem to be at the forefront of everyone's minds after a long day at work – as 11% conceded to not even taking their outdoor shoes off when they get through the front door.

And footwear seemed to be a hot button issue, as 30% said they would be offended if asked to remove their shoes in someone else’s home.

Almost one in six (15%) admitted to not washing their hands when they get in, and 25% feel it is unnecessary to change clothes when returning home from a busy commute.

A report from the European Lung Foundation identifies more than 900 different compounds found in indoor pollution, with some irritants occurring at levels two to five times higher than the air outside.

Helping to tackle unavoidable indoor pollution, laboratory research found that Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray reduced the number of viable cells of four common bacteria, including staphylococcus and E-coli, by a factor of 100,000.

The spokesman added: “Although hygiene habits differ from person to person, we’re committed to raising awareness of indoor pollution, and sharing ways this can be easily combated to improve our own health and those around us.”

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