You will be appalled by how many germs your Fitbit has on it

Shutterstock

According to experts over at Tic Watches, your watch potentially houses three times the amount of bacteria found on a common toilet seat.  The authors behind the study report, “A quarter (24%) of us confess to never cleaning our watch and one in five clean their watch less than every six months (21%). If you’re wearing one every day, you should try and give it a deep clean once a month. However, just putting a watch in water or giving it a quick wipe isn’t the most effective way to remove bacteria.”


Follow Ladders on Flipboard!

Follow Ladders’ magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness, Productivity, Job Satisfaction, Neuroscience, and more!


Colony forming units (CFU)

 CFU, which stands for colony forming units, is a microbiology unit of measurement designed to provide an estimation of the degree of viable bacteria or fungal cells on a given object.  Germ colonies infect an abundance of everyday items, many of which are not often associated with filth.  

A recent study conducted back in 2017 titled,  Microbiome analysis and confocal microscopy of used kitchen sponges, revealed massive colonization by Acinetobacter, Moraxella and Chryseobacterium species that are harmful to us, are rampant in kitchen sponges. So rampant in fact, the researchers recommend replacing your sponge as frequently as once a week. The newest study on the subject, honed in on watches, uncovering a similar trend. The researchers began by taking swab samples from 10 variations of watches and set their crosshairs on aerobic bacteria, mold, and yeast in particular.

Plastic and leather band watches evidenced a much higher quantity of dirt and bacteria than metal watches did. One of the Fitbits examined for instance contained eight times the amount of bacteria found on a common toilet seat, flush and handle. To be clear, it wasn’t the material itself that governed the degree of germs, it had more to do with which kind of wearers were more or less likely to clean their timepieces regularly. Surprisingly enough, women were more likely than men to never clean their watches.

The reports state that roughly 24% of men never clean their watches, compared to the 27% of women that said they never do so. Trailing directly behind the plastic Fitbit that contained 8.3 times the amount of bacteria found on a common toilet seat, was a Female’s watch with a leather strap (700 CFU) which was 5.8 times dirtier than a toilet.

Germ invasion

We come into contact with a profusion of germ species every day, though not all of these are enemies to the human body. The most common germ types are bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Some of these are integral in the absorption of vital nutrients in the intestine, in addition to helping our bodies produce essential vitamins. There are literally trillions of friendly germ species hanging out in our gut, but it’s also important to remember to be mindful of the hazardous ones colonizing all around us.

Watches aren’t the only everyday object generally filthier than a toilet. According to a paper written by researchers from the University of Arizona, the average office desktop has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. A recent study of hotels, banks, restaurants, and airports revealed that elevator buttons have 40 times more germs than a toilet seat.

Not long ago the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report on the importance of maintaining a clean workspace after they suspected desk dirt was responsible for 100 cases of a nasty stomach virus going around in an elementary school in Washington D.C. Cleanliness is key.

To avoid the promotion of CFU, Tic Watches recommends you make a habit out of cleaning and disinfecting your watch regularly, by removing the watch from the band, soaking both into a bowl of soapy water (or vinegar if you have a digital watch) scrubbing the dirt, giving the two a good rinse then drying them thoroughly.