Commuters will take longer or more costly route to work to avoid germs, study finds | City & Business | Finance

Nearly half of commuters avoid using public transport completely – because of fears over poor hygiene and cleanliness. And 46 percent confessed to taking a longer or more costly commute in favour of it being a less crowded and more hygienic route.

The poll of 1,110 adults, who use public transport for work, also found 51 percent have chosen a more expensive commute in order to avoid germs.

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

Nearly eight in ten (79 percent) will also deliberately avoid holding on to handrails when on a bus, train, or tube.

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 percent use air fresheners to keep indoors air clean, and 46 percent 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.”

The research also found 55 percent avoid holding on to escalator handrails to lower their chances of picking up germs.

However, more than one in five (22 percent) would not avoid a busy commute if they had a cough or cold – with 21 percent of these saying they do not avoid touching grab rails on trains or tubes.

This could explain why 14 percent of all those polled claim to wear disposable gloves during their commutes.

More than two-thirds (67 percent) said they are so concerned with personal hygiene, they take a shower or bath when they get home.

This sentiment was further demonstrated as seven in ten (69 percent) strongly believe you should not sit in or on the bed with outdoor clothes.

By contrast, 11 percent conceded to not taking their outdoor shoes off when they get through the front door.

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

Almost one in six (15 percent) admitted to not washing their hands when they get in, and 25 percent 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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