Not only has fall come to symbolize back to school, pumpkin spice lattes, and sweater weather, but fall has become synonymous with the flu. According to the CDC, flu season starts to increase in October and peaks between December and February, although it can last until May.
The ripple effects of flu season on individuals and their families are well documented. Contracting the flu can lead to greater health complications and can result in lost work and missed school days impacting the dynamics of the entire family.
Flu season also negatively impacts employers. It is estimated that flu results in over 100 million lost work days and costs businesses about $15 billion every year in lost revenue.
Now is the time to start thinking about how you can protect yourself and your employees during flu season. Here is a list of five things you can do to keep you and your employees healthy this season:
- Handwashing. Make sure to wash for at least 20 seconds. This is equal to two rounds of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or the Happy Birthday song. As a reminder, post a sign with the lyrics on the bathroom mirror.
- Sleep. This means trying to get 7 to 9 hours per night! Good sleep hygiene is key to a healthy immune system.
- Diet and exercise. Regular exercise and a healthy diet boost the immune system so it’s easier to fight off infections. Experts suggest 30 minutes of moderate cardio exercise each day and a diet high in immune-boosting foods like oranges, berries, and broccoli.
- Stress reduction. Stress can negatively impact your immune system making it easier to catch the flu. Consider adding extra stress-reducing activities during this time of year such as exercise or meditation.
- Stay home! Encourage everyone to stay home if they are feeling sick or have flu symptoms to avoid infecting others.
In addition to these five tips, one of the best ways to make sure your employees stay healthy and productive this season is with a flu shot. Lookout Health’s mobile vaccine clinics reduce the barriers to receiving vaccines and make it easy for your employees to get their annual flu shot without the hassle of scheduling, transportation, or missed work.