Human bodies are around 60% water. To keep your body hydrated, it is commonly recommended to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day—the 8x8 rule. However, consistently hitting that mark can be a challenge for most.
This June, Sanford Underground Research Facility’s (Sanford Lab) Environment, Safety and Health team (ESH) has developed a wellness initiative to encourage employees to drink more water. The goal of this initiative? Two-hundred and fifty gallons of water consumed by participants throughout the month.
“Dehydration can be linked to a poor mood and general fatigue,” said Laura Baatz, occupational nurse at Sanford Lab. “Adequate water intake is also essential to help maintain body systems people often don't think about—such as skin, hair, joints, muscles and organs.”
The Hydration Challenge encourages employees to think about how much water they are drinking by tracking and submitting weekly water intake in ounces. The team-goal mindset encourages staff to remind each other of their drinking goals, and the tracking board in the administration building provides a visual reminder of progress. The ESH team has also instituted “Fruit-in-your-water Fridays” to give employees an end-of-the-week inspiration to keep hydrated.
Keeping track of your intake, making it a group goal, having visual reminders and flavoring your water are all ways to up your water intake. As we enter our final push for the June health initiative, here are five other ways to keep drinking water consistently:
- Keep water at your desk
The best way to stay hydrated throughout the day is to keep water just an arm’s reach away. Having your own reusable water bottle cuts down on plastic waste, as well.
- Mark your goals
If you have your own reusable water bottle, use a permanent marker to mark your water goals on the side. Time stamps, such as “9 a.m.” and “12 p.m.” alongside the ounces on the side your water bottle, are a visual reminder to stay on track throughout the day.
- Make it a competition
Group goals are great, but sometimes, a little competition can be motivating. Create your own intra-office competition to see who can drink the most water each day or week, before submitting everyone’s ounces to the overall ESH goal.
- “Just water, thanks”
When eating out, opt for water instead of sugary drinks or alcohol. By drinking a full glass of water before a meal, you’re more inclined to choose a healthier meal and avoid overeating.
- Make it a game
Every time you get an email, take a phone call, hear your coworker crack a joke or see another hour pass, take a drink. Like all good drinking games, these small cues keep you sipping.
The Environment, Safety and Health Department at Sanford Underground Research Facility promotes health and safety in the workplace, as well as healthy living and wellness for all employees. If you have questions about health and wellness, please contact our occupational health nurse, Laura Baatz, who is onsite daily at firstname.lastname@example.org.