Workplace wellbeing has been a hot topic over the past few years, yet many business leaders are neglecting to include hydration as part of their wellbeing, and health and safety strategies.
The human body is composed of 70% water, which is why it’s essential to drink enough water to keep the body in proper working order. But staying hydrated at work can be difficult for many, with busy schedules, high workloads and deadlines to hit. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that good hydration is becoming a growing workplace issue.
Research suggests that even slight dehydration of around 2%, can influence mood, increase fatigue and reduce alertness. In fact, one study from the University of East London found that drinking a single glass of water can increase your brain function by up to 14%.
Health & Safety
Not only can staying hydrated improve productivity it can also help us perform better, both mentally and physically, helping to offset any potential safety risks. Very few people realise how dangerous dehydration can be. Being just 3% dehydrated has a similar effect on the body as having a blood alcohol level of 80mg per 100ml of blood, which is the drink driving limit in the UK. We all understand the risks of drink driving, and yet we don’t take the same precautions when it comes to dehydration.
Employers are required by law to ensure workers have adequate access to safe drinking water, as well as a suitable number of drinking vessels. In spite of this, a third of Brits admit to not drinking enough water, an issue that’s intensified during the summer months when temperatures are higher and we lose more water through perspiration.
Striving for a healthier workplace is essential in lowering sickness absences. Often workplace health programmes focus on food and exercise, but neglect to consider hydration.
A 2015 poll of GPs even suggests that approximately 1 in 5 GP appointments are thought to be related to dehydration, primarily through fatigue. For that reason, HR and Occupational Health professionals should consider drinking water as a priority in the office.
Not only can dehydration affect our ability to properly function in terms of physical and mental performance, but it can also affect our moods and emotions.
Several studies have shown that dehydration can lead to poor mood, fatigue, tension and anxiety. It’s no secret that happy staff are more productive, perform better and stay at the company longer, so a good hydration strategy is great for your business, as well as your team.
Key to improving workplace hydration is to ensure your employees have access to unlimited clean drinking water. Mains fed water dispensers are relatively inexpensive and can provide delicious chilled, boiling and sparkling water that’s also eco-friendly.
It’s important to also create a healthy hydration culture whereby you educate your team on the importance of hydration and encourage them to take regular comfort breaks to grab a drink. Providing each employee with their own quality, durable drinking bottle ensures everyone has a suitable drinking container in the workplace.
From July , the hydration experts at Liquidline, are offering 10 free reusable personal drinking bottles with every purchase of any Borg & Overström water dispenser. Starting from as little as £4.50 a week on a lease hire basis, Borg & Overström create some of the finest mains fed water dispensers on the market and are renowned for their style, superior filtration system and eco-friendly credentials.