By Will Vickery | Published
Your body needs water to function well – it takes up over half your body weight and you can only survive for 3 days without it. It is so vital to our existence and wellbeing that access to water was made a human right in 2010. There are many reasons that water is important: firstly it keeps you revitalised and with enough energy to carry on with your tasks. You need to drink enough water for your blood to be thin enough to transport glucose and oxygen around your body to the necessary muscles and organs to give you energy from respiration. If you drink too little water, your blood flows slower, transporting glucose more slowly, and therefore you have less energy and feel more tired. Furthermore, if you are dehydrated, it strains the heart as it is more difficult to pump blood around the body.
Secondly, a study from Georgia Tech showed that drinking more water improves your focus and even slight dehydration affects your work. Lack of water leaves you distracted and you find it more difficult to accomplish tasks you are doing throughout the day. As the brain is 80% water, dehydration impairs cognitive function. Furthermore, drinking enough water means you can regulate body temperature through sweat and remove toxins and waste products out of the body. If you are too hot and cannot regulate your body temperature, which also affects concentration.
Water is constantly being lost from our body through sweating and breathing, so it is important that is being regularly replaced.
As we have seen, water is very important for bodily functions, but especially in schools as children have a higher percentage of water as their body weight than adults. Children aged 9-13 need to get 1.5l of water a day from drinking alone so it is important they have the services to facilitate this. The Cornwall spring which Thirstywork provides its water from will contain natural minerals such as magnesium and calcium which have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease in later life.
As I mentioned earlier, hydration improves concentration which can lead to reducing distractions and improving the quality of the lesson, ultimately leading to better grades in exams. A study of 447 University students taking exams from the Universities of East London and Westminster, found that grades improved by 5%, with adjustments for ability to make the study fair. This can be applied to school children as well, with a study of 6-7 year olds performing better in visual test and short term memory tests if they were hydrated. This means they are more likely to understand the lesson and do better in the long term, having understood the lesson. Conversely, if a child is dehydrated, they are more likely to need support with a lesson, especially if it was on a key concept, due to not understanding it during the lesson and this may lead them to falling behind. Water provision also means that there is less need for behaviour management as children are not becoming distracted.
However, the addition of water coolers to schools doesn’t only benefit students but staff as well. Staff need to be hydrated to satisfy the demands of the school day and provide the best possible lesson.
Water coolers also reduce the need for single use plastics in school as it encourages the use of reusable bottles. The former education secretary, Damien Hinds set a target of eliminating single-use plastic in schools. If facilities are not provided for children to refill reusable bottles, then plastic bottles will be used, and if there isn’t the suitable recycling facilities, these just end up in landfill. However even if the bottles are put in recycling, this doesn’t reduce the demand for these plastics which isn’t sustainable as the bottles may not be made from 100% recycled plastic.
Water coolers provide a refreshing choice offering a chilled and delicious source of water for staff and students. At Thirsty work offers a range of bottle coolers and mains coolers, with countertop coolers if space is an issue. If you have a storage place for bottles and want a water cooler you can move anywhere you please, a bottled cooler is better. However, a mains cooler would reduce the need for bottle transports and reduce emissions on our part due to less transport.
Overall, it is very important to install multiple water coolers in well accessible places for students to drink clean, refreshing water to keep them healthy, focused and ready to learn and water coolers are also important due to the sustainable service they provide to the school. The range of coolers Thirstywork provides are well suited for these purposes and are therefore perfect for the school environment.