Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Most computer keyboards dirtier than toilet seats? My arse.

Every week on malehealth we publish a statistic of the week. This week I was intending to publish the Which survey showing that our computer keyboards were dangerous to health. I was reluctant because the story had had so much publicity but given that so many blokes use computers and that Men and Work is the theme of next month's Men's Health week, I felt I had no choice.

But when I looked more closely at the research I found a very different story to that which I'd seen reported. In fact a mere 33 keyboards were tested and of these just 4 keyboards were hazardous to health (that's 12%). Only one of these was dirtier than a toilet seat. Not nice but all the same not exactly invasion of the killer keyboards.

Should we be disappointed in Which? for publicising such a slim survey or the media for going bonkers about it? Unfortunately, health coverage in the mainstreem media suffers from this sort of thing time and again. The solution? Read our article: Medical Fact or media fiction? How to tell if research is reliable.

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