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Hydration in education: the big problem with water consumption in schools

A smiling young schoolgirl in a kitchen holding a glass of water in her right hand

‘Are you drinking enough water?’

In all walks of life, we’ve all heard this phrase uttered at one time or another – and there’s a very good reason why.

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. Being hydrated promotes cognitive development and if you’re a facilities manager in an educational setting, or part of a parents committee, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the effects that providing students with appropriate hydrational opportunities can have on their learning.

When we consider that 60% of our bodies are made up of water, the importance of staying hydrated cannot be overstated – especially during a student’s education.

Here at Borg & Overström, we know that water is the fundamental element that can inspire productivity, and with 20 years experience in design-led manufacturing of world renowned water systems, we understand the positive impact a well facilitated educational environment can have on students.

In this article, we explore the main reasons why staying hydrated in an educational environment is vital for a student’s development. By the end, you will know why hydration is critical for cognitive development and how to ensure your students stay hydrated.

Why is keeping students hydrated so important?

Did you know that staying hydrated is how our bodies transport nutrients to cells, regulate body temperature, lubricate our joints, and flush out all the waste and toxins from our system? In fact, every system in your body needs water to function properly, so it comes with no surprise that dehydration can have a variety of negative effects, including:

  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Having a dry mouth, lips and eyes
  • Feeling thirsty

Though the recommended daily intake of fluids can vary depending on height, weight, and climate, health experts typically state that everyone should be drinking close to 2 litres of water everyday. This includes unsweetened drinks such as tea, coffee, and sparkling water.

Research has shown that students today, especially in western society, are known to be particularly at risk of chronic dehydration. The combination of busy lesson schedules, the raised classroom temperatures, and the modern day push towards staying active – there are plenty of opportunities for students to become dehydrated should the surrounding environment not have the appropriate facilities.

With this research, Borg & Overström set out to solve this problem by designing a water system that perfectly matched the needs of students and staff alike. Knowing the importance of staying hydrated, the Borg & Overström B3 is the product of careful design and innovative thinking. Ergonomically designed to facilitate both adults and children – the B3 is championed as the first choice for all educational and healthcare environments.

Hydration in education

Providing access to drinking water gives students a healthy alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages. It helps to increase students’ overall water consumption, maintain hydration, and reduce energy intake if substituted for sugar-sweetened beverages

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

So, what is the current state of water facilities in a typical educational setting today?

Unfortunately, studies have shown that it is not uncommon for pupils to go six or seven hours without a single drink, and those who do drink usually drink less than they need. But why?

Well, In particular, the water refreshment facilities in schools are currently sparse and limited to either public water fountains or taps. With old metallic designs that require continuous cleaning maintenance, the sad truth is that these out-dated water fountains can harbour millions of harmful germs. So, despite studies demonstrating that students who are even mildly dehydrated can potentially lose concentration, and have a substantial decline in cognitive performance, the current facilities available are either unsuitable or unhygienic.

With a foundation set in the world of water systems, the Borg & Overström B3 actively combats these current issues. This high-class water cooler is perfect for dispensing clean, cool water into cups or bottles – essential for the student on the move. Featuring a touch-sensitive control panel, designed specifically to enhance hygiene maintenance, students no longer need to worry about the threat of harbouring germs and other contaminants that would be found on their old school water fountain.

Access to hydration is key in performing to the best of your ability – the simple act of drinking a glass of water can boost a person’s concentration, directly affecting their ability to learn and recall information. Indeed, a wide-range of studies have found direct correlations between cognitive processes and hydration levels, ranging from visual attention to cognitive understanding.

As well as enhancing a student’s concentration, staying hydrated can also impact performance within test situations. A BBC study has found that students who have bottled water on their desks during exams perform, on average, 5% better than those students who don’t.

Borg & Overström: Your solution to water facilities in education

With a plethora of studies demonstrating the crucial benefits hydrated students gain in an educational setting, you might be asking one question above all – how can we ensure students stay hydrated?

There are many difficulties when considering the best method and/or product that will meet all your needs. From general maintenance to cost control, facility management is tasked with the hard but crucial role of providing students and staff with access to the most appropriate facilities.

Here at Borg & Overström, we understand the importance of this role and believe that keeping people hydrated, healthy, and happy cannot be overstated. Our aim is simple – to provide water systems that empower people to achieve more.

Although maintaining a hydrated state will ultimately fall on the student or staff themselves, we believe that by providing access to the most appropriate water dispenser – your environment will enhance and encourage a healthy and educational state of mind. This is why Borg & Overström have personally optimised the B3 for use in an educational and healthcare environment.

A B3 water dispenser positioned against a wall in a student working area

Borg & Overström B3 - First choice for education and healthcare

View the features and benefits of the B3
View the features and benefits of the B3

If you’re still curious about the full capabilities of the B3, view our feature page to learn more about the versatility and benefits of the B3. Or, if you’re looking for a more comprehensive understanding on the technology behind the water cooler, visit our ProCore® article for an in-depth exploration of all its components.

Not sure if the B3 best matches your needs? Get a full scope of information in our comparison between the B4 and B6 water dispensers, providing you with an extensive analysis on which water system is the perfect fit to upgrade your educational setting.

Specifically interested from a business perspective? Read our article on how the correct water system can make your business more money by raising student and employee morale and performance.

If you have any questions about the B3 or finding the best water system for you – contact us – our experts have all the resources to answer all your questions and are waiting to help you.

Our drinking water dispensers are available through selected partners