The British Summer is likely to see a reduction in productivity – not because people are on holiday, but because workers simply aren’t drinking enough water.
And the impact of not having easy, regular access to drinking water, highlighted in a report by the UK's Natural Hydration Council*, has sparked an awareness raising campaign by water specialist, BWT.
The company supplies office water coolers with mineralised water and has just launched a range of mineral water jugs which not only remove unwanted heavy metals, but also add 'top up' magnesium which plays a vital role in hundreds of bodily functions. These include supporting a healthy immune system and helping memory, both of which are important functions for people at work!
The campaign, as well as drawing the attention of employers and staff to the potential problems of being inadequately hydrated, also offers some simple solutions – including the creation of a range of cordial recipes (see below) to make drinking water more appealing for those who like a bit of a kick with their H2O.
Dietitian Dr Sarah Schenker, a well-known advocate of the benefits of drinking water for good health, says even during a typically British Summer it’s still easy to become dehydrated.
"As so many of us work at desks in air conditioned offices which have a dehydrating effect, on shop floors or in places where it’s not easy to have access to water literally on tap, we are all in danger of becoming dehydrated. To counter the effects of dehydration either we or our bosses need to ensure water is readily to hand. The effects of dehydration include reduced concentration and decision-making abilities, fatigue and headaches – all of which make us feel worse and of course will have a knock on effect on our ability to perform our jobs properly.
"Drinking small amounts of water at regular intervals can help reduce headaches caused by dehydration. So keeping a jug of water on your desk or a bottle of water with you if you are travelling around and refilling it when possible is a sensible idea."
The BWT campaign also prompts bosses to provide easy access to drinking water to help protect their bottom line. And that means either installing workplace water coolers, supplying staff with filter jugs or reminding workers to keep a jug or refillable bottles of water on their desk, possibly jazzed up with cordials, prepared with a water filter jug they have at home.
A survey carried out by BWT, one of the leading suppliers of water coolers and mineralised water in the UK, shows 43% of those working at their desk say they don't drink enough water while they’re at work because it’s logistically difficult. While the survey was carried out by BWT in Germany, the report’s authors say the figures are likely to be echoed in other North West European countries where working practices are similar.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says women should drink around 1.6 litres of water a day and men 2 litres **, but for people working in certain environments that volume should be increased, says the Natural Hydration Council. These include air conditioned spaces such as offices, shops, gyms, and airports as air conditioning speeds up moisture evaporation from our skin and lungs, as well as more obvious scenarios such as working in high temperature environments, like kitchens and factories, or doing physically demanding jobs.
To download the water based recipes and for more information visit www.bwt-uk.co.uk
Steep a thinly sliced orange, four sage leaves and two cinnamon sticks in 1.5 litres of filtered water for 30 minutes.
Steep six thinly sliced strawberries, five slices of root ginger and three mint sprigs in 1.5 litres of filtered water for 10 to 15 minutes.
* The Natural Hydration Council report can be found here .
** EFSA's Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for Water 2010 recommends liquid intakes of 2 litres for women and 2.5 litres for men, of which 20% can come from food.