Hydration and the Workplace: The relationship between water and performance
Just 1% of dehydration can reduce employee productivity by as much as 12%. Consider the fact that up to 80% of the U.S. workforce is under hydrated every single day and the impact on productivity – whether physical or mental labor – is significant.
Employees with improper hydration can experience increased workplace accidents, mistakes, and waste due to:
- Problems with information processing
- Mental fatigue, altered behavior
- Headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness
- Premature aging of the brain
By the time an employee is thirsty, they are already 2-3% dehydrated. Did you know that as little as 3% dehydration can slow your reaction time to the same extent as 0.08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)? To put this in perspective, you are 5x more likely to cause a car accident at 0.08 BAC.
The general rule of thumb is that 8-10 glasses of water a day is the “right” amount of water to drink daily. This is not necessarily sufficient. The amount of water required to remain hydrated depends on body size, weight, type of work, and more.
While employers are required by law to provide employees with drinking water, many employees remain unclear about the importance of staying well-hydrated. An easy way to implement proper hydration is to make drinking water readily accessible and appealing.
Here are some considerations to increase employee productivity through proper hydration:
1. Bottled Water Systems – These are a popular option but come with many disadvantages such as hidden costs, cumbersome storage, and extra maintenance. Unless your bottled water system uses reverse osmosis, distillation, or is filtered with an absolute 1 micron filter, your company’s water may contain parasite Cryptosporidium which can cause illness, especially severe for individuals with a compromised immune system. If your company’s bottled water system happens to contain fluoride, it is usually at a level that is less than optimal for good oral health. Often times, bottled water offers no difference than tap water at an additional cost.
People often believe that water bottle systems aren’t susceptible to contamination. Wrong. Recently (April 2016) over 4,000 bottled water drinkers in Spain fell ill due to a source contamination of their water supply
2. Water Purification Systems – This is the best solution if hydration and improved productivity (and therefore safety and profitability) are important to your company. Not only do our water purification systems remove chemicals, bacteria, and parasites but they are also injected with reverse osmosis membrane and activated oxygen to produce better tasting, healthier water than other workplace systems. They eliminate airborne and microbiological contamination. This means less sick days due to issues that could’ve been avoided with proper water quality as well as lower costs associated with employee health. Water purification systems offer minimal operation costs, non-obtrusive installation, and no permanent changes to your plumbing.
3. Water Fountain – Water fountains are cheap and some are even filtered, but they do not necessarily eliminate all bacteria (just enough to meet federal regulations). Not to mention, the surface of water fountains pose unsanitary health risks for your employees - leading to more sick days as they are a breeding ground for bacteria such as E-coli, legionella, and coliform.
Surveys show that 76% of Americans will NOT drink from a water fountain. How can you expect your employees to practice proper hydration if most of them want to avoid the source?
According to a study conducted by the National Sanitation Foundation, 2.7 million bacterial cells were found per square inch on water fountains, more than that of public bathrooms.
4. Water Filtration Systems – These get rid of some chemical substances, while also improving flavor and smell, but they do not remove 100% of impurities. Water filters are not regulated by any health department, meaning they widely vary in effectiveness. These filters may remove the basics, such as chlorine or sediment, but not toxic impurities such as lead. They need to be replaced, cleaned, maintained regularly, otherwise the water quality is compromised and can actually increase contamination. Even if it looks, tastes, and smells just fine, there is a chance the water you and your employees are drinking is neither healthy nor pure.
Proper hydration through water purification systems can improve performance by 8-10%.
Hydrated employees are more focused, have greater creativity and clarity, and think faster than those who are not – not to mention a significant impact on your company’s safety record and general welfare. Pure Water Technology’s water purification systems are the most effective way to provide fresh, pure, oxygenated drinking water in the workplace – while saving time and money for your company.
Try it for yourself -- Reduce costs and start enjoying the best drinking water on the planet with a one week FREE trial for your business. Schedule an appointment by calling us at 888-581-PURE or filling out our online form.
Still not sure if a water purification system, is right for you? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for the answers to our most common concerns.