Britain's '˜dirty little sick habits' revealed

New research from cough experts Covonia has revealed the disgusting habits people adopt when they're feeling under the weather.

How many sickness habits are you guilty of?
How many sickness habits are you guilty of?

Over a quarter (27%) of people surveyed admit that they go a whole day without showering when they’re ill, 26% stay in their pyjamas and 32% spend all day binge watching TV series and films.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults also revealed that over a fifth (23%)1 of people leave a trail of their snotty tissues everywhere they go, risking passing on their illness to others and 14% of people don’t wash their bedding when they’re riddled with germs!

Dr Sarah Jarvis commented: “It’s very easy to become lazy and unhygienic when you feel ill, but it’s important to try and stay clean to reduce the spread of germs and the risk of infecting others. If you’re feeling bunged up, then a hot shower will not only relax you, but it can actually help to unblock your sinuses and clear your airways. So there really is no excuse!

“When you’re ill, you also tend to sweat a lot and lying in dirty bedsheets or pyjamas all day isn’t going to do you any favours. If possible, try to carry on as normal. Get up, take some medicine and make the effort to get dressed and out of the house, to get some fresh air. If you’re too ill to leave the house, then at least change out of your bed clothes into something clean. It’s also important to strip your bedding and wash it, along with any towels you’ve used, on a high temperature to kill any unwanted bacteria.”

It seems that our unhygienic behaviour is driving some work colleagues up the wall, with half of people saying that their biggest grievance about ill colleagues is when they are careless about spreading their germs. However, some people seemed to be more sympathetic to the fact their colleagues are powering through, with 25% saying they would sympathise with them as they moan and 38% saying that they would offer them a glass of water if they were coughing loudly.

The survey from Covonia also found that these bad habits appear to stretch to our diet when we are ill, with nearly a quarter of people (22%)saying that it’s the perfect excuse to indulge in junk food, with a curry being top of their list (21%), closely followed by ice cream (15%) and pizza (14%).

Dr Jarvis added: “Many people will use the excuse ‘I’m sick, I can eat what I want’, but junk food and takeaways will probably end up making you feel much worse. If you have a sore throat or cough and it hurts to swallow, then it’s best to try and stick to smooth food, such as soup, mashed potatoes or yoghurt. I would avoid any scratchy foods, like crisps and nuts and also anything too acidic, as these can irritate the throat.

“It’s also very important not to become dehydrated, so drink plenty of water to help the body to function normally and to help clear any nasty toxins that might be lurking around.”