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Make water available throughout the day

Why: 

Drinking water is essential for keeping your body functioning normally and preventing dehydration.  Water, one of the most important and often overlooked nutrients, plays many roles in body processes.  Water regulates body temperature, transports nutrients to cells, carries waste products away, helps cushion joints, protects, organs and tissues, and helps in weight loss efforts.

Dehydration, the loss of body water, can have a detrimental effect.  Dehydration can begin as thirst, but can quickly progress to effects such as fatigue, headache, dizziness, weakness, and delirium, and in the worst case, even death.  It is always important to drink water regularly.  It’s even more important when being physically active.

Water is a great alternative to soda and high-calorie beverages that offer little nutritional value.  Many vending machines in the workplace are fully stocked with soda and sugar-filled beverages.  Providing water at company functions and making it more available and visible to employees may help them choose water more often.

How: 

  • Educate employees about the importance of water and hydration through the company newsletter, emails, and posters/table tents in the cafeteria or around the building.
  • Incorporate the message of drinking more water into existing health and fitness programs offered in the worksite.  Encourage employees to set goals to drink more water along with other health and fitness goals.
  • Make water available through water fountains and water coolers in break rooms, hallways, and lobbies.  If budgetary constraints do not allow for purchase of water, initiate a program to get employees to contribute a small monthly donation that would fund bottled drinking water.
  • Serve bottled water or water from pitchers at staff meetings as an alternative to coffee and soda.  Try adding lemons and/or limes; toss in some fresh mint leaves; or mix in a bit of orange juice to add variety.
  • Make water available in vending machines.  Discuss with the vending representative the potential for adding water to the beverage inventory.

Resources:

 

  • MEDLINEplus:  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000982.htm
        Preventing Dehydration