Experts comment that some viruses can not only live for weeks on hard surfaces such as door handles and break room worktops, but also on many of the everyday items you'd find on an office desk. For that reason, Viking conducted bacterial tests to show some of the weird and wonderful bugs that surround us on a daily basis.

Experts took swabs of areas of the office that the average worker is most likely to come into contact with on a normal day. This included the hot water boiler, computer mouse, photocopier, keyboards and desk surfaces. They also took samples of a cleaned computer mouse (using generic desk wipes), the main corridor door handle, telephone mouthpiece, chewed pencil and a chewed pen.

Each samples were labeled, left in a breathable cardboard box and left in a warm place for five days, checking back to keep an eye on any developments. After five days, the bacterial and fungal cultures had grown to visibly revolting levels, say reports.

The desk's sample showed probably the largest range of bacteria, fungi etc. and this is probably due to the wide range of things coming into contact with it on a daily basis. The trend for workers to eat 'al desko' is also likely responsible for some of the microorganisms present on this particular plate.

Another point that the experiment highlighted was that the copier seemed to be far dirtier than we would have expected. We concluded that this was likely due the fact it's used by a wide variety of people but hadn't been assigned to anybody to be cleaned regularly. When we considered this point against the ease with which illnesses can spread, we realized that the copier would be a prime point of contagion.

The door is not as surprising, however, as despite its notable growth it isn't as extensive as some of the other plates. We deduced this is likely due to the fact it is cleaned everyday by the office's cleaners. However, it seems that this makes the existing growth even more revealing since it will be based on just a day's worth of contact and exposure.

For the full results from this project, click here.