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Why Having Office Water Coolers Equals An Efficient Workforce

Mar 4, 2008
In the 21st century, the commercial world is very much more in touch with the welfare of the people who work for them. Health in the workplace takes a precedent these days as bosses are rapidly adopting the understanding of what creates a healthy workforce.

Office refurbishment includes the use of efficient air conditioning, specialist lighting, open plan offices to create the right atmosphere and office water coolers to ensure constant hydration leading to an alert and healthy staff.

Water is a vital nutrient for life but in a busy work environment, it is easy to forget to drink it in order to stay hydrated. However, few workers forget to drink a caffeinated beverage each day, 93% of them do so, believing it acts as a stimulant to the nervous system thereby helping to stave off fatigue. Unfortunately, as caffeine also acts as a mild diuretic, this contributes to dehydration.

Dehydration is a problem receiving many headlines in recent years, as the understanding of its effects on the human body becomes better known. It is known that a healthier workforce leads to improved productivity and fewer working days lost to illness. Good hydration contributes to staff health and safety as even mild levels of dehydration can adversely affect both physical and mental performance. Its effects reduce mental performance and alertness, increase tiredness and irritability, affect memory, concentration and response time. As dehydration increases, safety is compromised with hand-eye co-ordination becoming more difficult, making jobs requiring handling heavy machinery particularly dangerous.

The dehydrated condition is first indicated by thirst, although it is thought that by then, the body's process of shutting down due to lack of water has already began. If thirst is not quenched, then a headache will generally follow, indicating that the brain is squeezing fluid from its tissues. Other symptoms previously mentioned may follow and the solution to this? A short stroll to the nearest office water cooler will quickly raise levels of alertness and dissipate headaches.

Businesses recognise that by providing a drinking water solution such as water coolers, most of the problems associated with dehydration are alleviated quickly, revitalising a lagging brain very quickly leading again to increased productivity.

Office water coolers made their debut in the USA in the 1920's and 1930's when the building of skyscraper office blocks necessitated a way of getting clean fresh drinking water to the higher floors when water pipes simply could not perform the task. Prior to this, in 1906, the main source of clean drinking water came from drinking fountains, developed by Halsey Willard Taylor and Luther Haws, in an attempt to reduce the incidence of illnesses from water borne diseases such as typhoid.

Chilling the water in the early days came from using a 20-pound block of ice. Then the first refrigerated coolers were introduced with chillers but they were very heavy and contained CFC'S, which is now no longer used. The style and positioning of office water coolers changed in America when the government recognised that disabled people in wheelchairs could not access the often wall mounted water dispenser.
In the 1980's, as offices became more aesthetically aware of their environments, the water cooler became an image associated with modern, contemporary coolness. Since then, designs have become more streamlined, filters more technologically advanced providing better quality water and now, in the 21st century, the water cooler is an essential requirement for any office.

In conclusion, water in any business environment is essential for the health and well-being of the workforce and it is in the interests of all business owners to ensure that a plentiful supply of good quality, clean fresh water is available.
About the Author
Anna Stenning uses the office water coolers at work regularly in order to keep herself hydrated and lert. For more information on water filters and filtration methods click on http://www.pure-eau.co.uk
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