10 facts - Dehydration and its effect on productivity at work

1. Dehydration causes excessive loss of water and salts from the body
Water is vital for the body to maintain blood volume, control body temperature to allow all body muscles to function properly [1].

Glass of water

2. Mild dehydration effects productivity at work
The more dehydrated workers become, the more their capacity to work decreases. Being 3-4% dehydrated can lower your work performance by approximately 25-50% [1]

Laptops at work

3. Mental performance decreases when the body is dehydrated
The body can experience an increase in heart rate and body temperature when dehydrated and therefore you lose the mental ability to work consistently. Dehydration decreases your mental health in addition to physical performance and it is just as vital to stay hydrated for office workers as it is for manual labourers [1].

Stress, overworking, long commutes, to and from the office and dry air can all contribute to water loss from the body. As well as air conditioning lowers the water in the atmosphere, leading to an increase in water loss from the lungs and through the skin, decreasing your mental state throughout the work day. [1]

Work Meeting

4. Drugs and alcohol are not the only form of damage
Dehydration can decrease your reaction time to the same degree as consuming 0.08 blood alcohol content [1]. The chances of you having a car accident are 5 times more likely to happen. Avoid having an accident by staying hydrated before, during and after your work day [1].

Driving to work

5. Stay hydrated throughout the day
Studies of Australian mine sites have found that 60% of workers come to work dehydrated. It is important to stay alert at work, especially in hot and humid conditions[1]. Once dehydrated, your body naturally weakens throughout the day. Employee’s mostly replace only half of the fluid they lose through perspiration [1].

Glass of Water2

6. Educate workers on the importance of staying hydrated
Studies have found that workers who are educated on the importance of drinking water usually stay hydrated for the length of their shifts. Education is key to keeping employees alert and ready to work with their brain switched on for the day ahead [3].

Education at work

7. Water is not the only source of hydration
Electrolytes are currently in many sport and energy drinks containing various elements that are key to people's well-being, one of them being water retention [1].When electrolytes are lost, ‘involuntary dehydration’ can ensue, as the body tries to re-hydrate even when fluid intake surpasses the rate of sweat [1].

Energy Drinks

8. Heat stress contributes to dehydration  
Dehydration is very dangerous, especially in the workplace. Heat stress and dehydration go hand in hand. Our body’s core temperature is approximately 37 degrees celsius. We produce sweat which evaporates from surfaces of skin and cools down surface blood cells [3].

If we don’t replace the fluids we lose by sweating them, the body must take water from key organs, causing problems and becoming dehydrated [3].

The body has no water to produce sweat to cool you down and temperatures rise causing illnesses like heat stroke, heat stress and fatigue [3].

Heat stress

9. Lose weight quicker by drinking lots of water
When you drink several litres of water per day, you can fasten your metabolism. People who are fully hydrated, rarely experience constipation [2].

10. Regulate your mood by drinking more water  
Studies have proven dehydration can lead to negative moods and can interfere with a person’s capacity to think wisely throughout the day, especially during work [2].

Mood at work

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1. “Premium Waters” Dehydration impacts workplace productivity, https://premiumwaters.com/blog/dehydration-impacts-workplace-productivity/.

2. “The Daily MBA” Infograph why hydration is essential for your employees, http://www.thedailymba.com/2016/12/21/infograph-why-hydration-is-essential-for-your-employees/.

3. “Thorzt” Employee Dehydration, http://thorzt.com/8-things-every-employer-should-know-about-worker-dehydration/#.W6RqImgzaUk.