According to OSHA, thousands of workers become sick each year from heat-related illnesses, which, if untreated, can result in death. However, the risk of heat illness is not isolated to those who work in outdoor occupations.
June 21 kicks off the official start of summer. As the sun becomes more intense, both outside workers and recreationists need to pay closer attention to the risk of dehydration.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends the following, daily water intake for men and women:
- Men: 3.7 liters (125 oz.)
- Women: 2.7 liters (91 oz.)
This recommendation is higher than the “8 oz. 8 times a day” maxim most of us have heard, which translates into approximately 1.9 liters.
Another suggestion is to drink half your body weight in ounces each day. Visit Livestrong.com for step-by-step directions to determine if you are drinking enough according to this formula.
Whichever set of guidelines you decide to follow, keep in mind that a person’s daily activity and outdoor exposure play a factor into how much water intake is needed. A person who is more active and spends more time in the sun should consume more liquids than someone who works a desk job in air conditioning.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that individuals determine their water intake needs based on the following factors:
- Exercise: The duration and intensity of your workouts, including how much you sweat, will determine how much you should drink.
- Environment: Heat, humidity and altitude can all affect the amount of water you need.
- Illness: Health conditions can require you to either increase or reduce your fluid intake.
- Pregnancy: Women who are pregnant or nursing need additional fluids to stay hydrated.
There is no “one size fits all” rule. Everyone’s body is unique, and each of us faces different environments on a daily basis.
Before you head outdoors, fill your Nalgene bottle or a cooler. Whatever you do, be intentional about staying hydrated this summer.
About Accuform Signs
Accuform Signs, located in Brooksville, FL, is the leading manufacturer of facility safety identification products. Founded in 1976, Accuform Signs sells products to a network of distributors throughout North America, South America and Asia. From personalized safety signs, safety tags and labels, to traffic safety and lockout/tag out products, Accuform Signs provides the products and sales support for the distributors that define the safety industry.