Researchers who examined a number of office desks in New York and San Francisco have found that over 500 species of bacteria inhabit the surface where we sit every day.

Most of us would rather not think about the cleanliness of our office desks, but if you consider the amount of time you spend at the desk and the frequency with which it is usually cleaned, it’s not surprising to find that bacteria are lurking in their hundreds on your keyboard and on your phone handset.

The study shows that most of the bacteria found on an average desk will be totally harmless. The associate professor of biology at San Diego State University Scott Kelley says the bacteria are “with us all the time, and they don’t make us sick”.

Office cleaning is really important, to remove any harmful bacteria that may be present in your work area. And whilst it might not be possible to sanitise the area completely, the regular cleaning of the office can make the area a more inviting and healthier place to be.

The results also showed that men’s desks are likely to contain around 10% more bacteria than woman’s desks.