Workplace Wellness “Keeping Hydrated”
Water Keeps You Well at Work
Water is a vital thing to our existence. If you are trying to improve your wellness at work, it could be so simple as drinking some water. It is very important to stay hydrated throughout the day.
In fact, staying hydrated is one of the most valuable things you can do for your body. Water helps to regulate our internal temperature, it removes metabolic wastes, it lubricates joints, and keeps the heart and muscles healthy. Studies show that hydration has improved alertness, concentration and over enhanced cognitive performance.
Without sufficient hydration you can undergo fatigue, dry skin, muscle cramps, sweet cravings, headaches and dry mouth. Dehydration is a deficit of body water when fluid output exceeds intake and it is classified as severe if the loss of body water is over 5%.
Why is it Important to Stay Hydrated?
The effects of dehydrations, and strategies on how to keep employees hydrated throughout the day are good to note, considering that being dehydrated by even 2 percent significantly impairs cognitive performance. It is in everyone’s best interest to keep an abundance of water flowing.
Being dehydrated by even 2 percent impairs performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor, and immediate memory skills as well as assessment of the subjective state. At work, you’re preoccupied with thousands of various work responsibilities, it can be hard to stay hydrated. It is very easy to get bogged down and neglect self-care at work.
In some cases, workers do not drink enough fluids during the work day, and even more arrive to work already dehydrated. We lose water when we breathe, perspire, urinate, or defecate, and therefore need to replenish lost fluid. Sufficient hydration is a vital prevention of accidents at work as it enhances performance in both mental and physical tasks, and improves the perception of well-being.
When you are dehydrated it means that there is an imbalance in the homeostatic function of the internal environment. This affects cognitive capacity and interferes with performance of work/study that need specific mental skills. According to John Batson M.D, a sports medicine physician, if you’re well hydrated, “your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.”
How Can You Tell if You Are Dehydrated at Work?
- If you are experiencing dry mouth.
- You have lowered blood pressure, headaches, and dizziness
- You have muscle fatigue
- You have dry, cool skin
- You feel lethargic and irritable
How Can You Stay Hydrated at work?
- Eat fruits and veggies
- Drink through a straw
- Avoid dehydrating foods & drinks, like sweetened beverages, processed foods and sugars
- Bring a water bottle to work and have it by your desk
- If you don’t like plain water, infuse fruity flavors, add lemon or cucumber
To help your employees stay hydrated at work, invest in a water cooler or several water coolers, depending how big your office space is. Provide plenty of water, available at any time, in convenient locations close to work sites.
Encourage employees to take a few minutes, and re-fill their water at any time. A break for water should always be encouraged. You can also provide urine color charts in bathrooms, which will show the urine colors of a hydrated person compared to a dehydrated person. Your body is more likely to be dehydrated if your urine is darker.
Encourage healthy hydration in the workplace because it benefits the self-care of your employees, and promotes productivity, performance and workplace wellness!