Work interruptions can reduce your fluid intake

Do constant work interruptions cause you stress? Are you asked to do tasks that are really not your job? Research has shown that both these factors can mean you drink less fluid at work, even to the point where you may actually get dehydrated.

Busy and stressful work schedules can limit the workday fluid intake due to the stress response suppressing thirst. We may also ignore thirst signals by prioritising the tasks in hand to cope with a heavy workload and thus avoid other activities such as bathroom breaks or fetching drinks. Dealing with interruptions and working under time pressures mean personal needs like eating and drinking are more likely to take a back seat.

Unreasonable tasks (defined as those beyond your professional role) can either be due to being under or over qualified. When these tasks are added into your job frequently, possibly due to staff shortages or policy dictates, they can be perceived as lack of respect or appreciation and cause you chronic, background stress. This can further reduce the self-regulation of individual needs such as hunger and thirst and reduce intakes. The effect of having unreasonable tasks added to your busy workload (as appose to ordinary tasks) also distracts from the thirst mechanism and can worsen fluid intakes.

A health-promoting approach to fluid intake at work is recommended and includes measures like easy access to water and good management of staff tasks and roles. Both hot and cold drinks count as fluid and encouraging a variety of different types is effective at helping to maintain hydration. We recommend 6-8 large mugs or glasses per day-more if the weather is hot.

Why not check out the BDA Hydration Champion Scheme? Simply fill in the form  and send to to order your hydration resources for the workplace.

Stay Afloat Keep Hydrated.

Kottwitz et al., (2017) Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 42:223-234


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