Two thirds of the human body is water. The brain is 75% water. Circulation depends upon being hydrated and a lack of fluids slows functionality. Your mood is tempered by your hydration levels. Your immune system is strengthened by being hydrated. Your temperature is affected by how much water there is in the body and the levels of perspiration you experience. Hydration for positive health is very much important. Did you know that you can be mildly dehydrated without feeling thirsty? No, well when was the last time you had a drink? You could already be dehydrated.
We aren’t drinking enough
Maintaining hydration for positive health is vital for the important tasks we expect ourselves to achieve. From the moment we wake up we are placing demands on our bodies and although many of us know that dehydration is bad for our health most people are not drinking enough and regularly to stay at optimum health levels. A 2013 study showed that 60% of children arrive at school already dehydrated. Their concentration levels will be lower, their absorption of information affected and, in all likelihood, their hydration levels won’t improve over the day as they run and play, go to the toilet, perspire and breath…yes, breathing is one way the body emits moisture. And we continue this unwise pattern into adulthood.
Common side effects of not consuming enough liquids:
Lack of concentration.
Babies, children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to dehydration.
UK Sick days
Whilst hydration cannot be blamed for all absences, the Office of National Statistics has recorded that over 141 million days were lost to sick leave in 2018; it equated to 4.4 days per worker in the UK.
Women were more likely to take time off than men, and public sector workers were absent more than their private sector counterparts. The full time employees took time off more than part timers. The numbers fell in 2019, to 38.8 million days which was a positive sign but there is still a need for education about hydration for positive health to prevent instances of health problems. 2020, peculiar in many ways, has shown that absences have increased, whether this is directly through Covid remains to be analysed.
Solution: Water, water and more water
Studies have found that if people drank more their visits to the GP with complaints of fatigue and an array of symptoms would reduce significantly and place less strain on our health services. Severe hydration causes emergencies so although you may believe that it isn’t really important whether to keep liquid intake up and to replace lost fluids after exercise, you must, to achieve vitality and ensure that sick days and avoidable absences are kept to an absolute minimum. Just one more glass of water, squash or juice per day can deliver enormous benefits. It’s important not to flood the system with high sugar drinks, these are obviously not as healthy or as effective at maintaining energy levels.
How much is enough?
That’s tricky; the temperature of the day or the work location, whether you’ve exerted yourself and general health all factor into an answer. Generally, aim for 8-10 8 ounce glasses or approximately 2 litres per day. When was the last time you had water on its own? Most of us are too busy drinking tea, coffee, canned drinks and alcohol to remember the power of a humble glass of water.
Installing a water cooler in a workplace can significantly impact on productivity and happiness across all staff levels. Water requirements from the warehouse to the boardroom cannot be ignored.
Another bonus with water? It has no calorific value so if you’re on a diet you can drink the water cooler dry without fear of putting on weight!
Not another thing to remember…
It can be difficult to remember to drink water so why not try creating a schedule? Go to the water cooler, tap, your bottle on the desk, at regular intervals using the clock on the PC or by setting alarms. Your body will thank you for taking the time. Another helpful hydration tip is to drink water before, during and after an exercise session so that muscle cramps, pain, dehydration and toxin build ups are prevented and essential minerals are restored.
Simple to install, cost effective, with bottle or bottleless water coolers are widely available around the UK. A little knowledge and application could have us all feeling so much more invigorated. What are we waiting for? Get wonderfully hydrated.