Hydration in the Workplace

Hydration in the Workplace

Maintaining daily hydration is crucial to everyday health and wellbeing to ensure that bodies perform at their optimum.  Around 60% of body weight is water1, increasing to 73% of the brain, so it makes sense that even mild dehydration can have an impact on physical and mental performance.  Everyday activities such as breathing and sweating cause water loss, add to this an air conditioned or heated office and it’s really easy for employees to become dehydrated, which can start to have detrimental impacts on workplace performance. Studies have found that hydration levels can have an effect on cognitive (brain) function and more severe dehydration can also reduce short-term memory and the ability to process and interpret visual information2.  In a working environment, this could lead to poor concentration and mistakes being made.

Ensuring that employees drink enough water throughout the day is key. Everyone is busy, may not have easy access to a water cooler and consequently don’t actually remember to drink. Employers are required by law to ensure that workers have adequate access to safe drinking water.  The 1992 Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations (Regulation 22) states that employers should meet certain requirements which include:

  • Providing an adequate supply of clean drinking water
  • Making sure that this is readily accessible at suitable places and conspicuously marked by an appropriate sign.

So, how do companies ensure they are helping their workforce to perform optimally and just how much water should be drunk in a day?  The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) advise that adult women should drink 2lts of water every day and men, 2.5lts.   It can be really difficult for many people to reach this water intake goal and employers should ensure that they are reminding employees throughout the day.  Some ideas to help to increase hydration in a busy office:

  • Encourage staff to have a drink of water as soon as they get to work
  • When in meetings, ensure that water is always available by providing water jugs and glasses – in just a 2-hour meeting, de-hydration can occur if participants aren’t drinking water
  • Employers could set up email reminders for staff to encourage them to take a drink frequently
  • Provide re-usable water bottles – these act as a great visual reminder to drink.

A reusable water bottle prompts a further consideration; the environment. All industries need to consider how their decisions and actions will affect the environment and what choices can be made to minimise this impact.  
Look for a water cooler supplier who can offer industry leading environmental initiatives to support your own actions.

Eden Springs is Europe's largest Carbon Neutral water and coffee company providing water and coffee solutions with Zero emissions. Using Carbon Neutral certification all CO2 emissions are offset. Water bottles can be reused up to 50 times before being recycled and 100% renewable energy is sourced to cover the electricity consumption of all European operations, which have achieved certified CarbonNeutral® electricity consumption.