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Ordinary Water Improves Your Concentration and Memory. It Staves Off a Sweet Tooth Too

skanska May 29, 2018  |  Text by Lukáš Rozmajzl Text by Lukáš Rozmajzl

Forget about energy drinks and meditative music! If you’re seeking the key to better output at work, find yourself a glass of water. We’ll be showing you how to care for water right, so that it stays healthy and high-quality.

“When I’m hungry, I tear off a little, and when I need to focus, I tear off more,” hockey star Jaromír Jágr said 20 years ago in a Czech ad for a two-meter roll of chewing gum. Back when he was still a mullet-rocking trendsetter.

Brooke watched this ad on YouTube about thirteen times today. That’s because she’s preparing for a brainstorming session where she’ll need to think up a marketing strategy for promoting something as seemingly ordinary as water.

There are a lot of parallels to find in his 30-second video: Water can help if you need to chase off a craving for sweets. People often mistake thirst for hunger. Try imagining that a glass of water is a chocolate bar in disguise! Meanwhile according to research published in Nutrients magazine, even mild dehydration reduces your ability to focus.

A lack of water can also bring on many other problems at work and more—major headaches, a poorer memory, diarrhea, and a feeling of fatigue where you just can’t move some of your tasks forward. A loss of hydration is also directly linked to a worsening of your mood. This often starts after your water level drops by as little as 1-2%.

Strict Limits

Brooke doesn’t have to worry about the water quality at her office. That’s because she works in a building that’s WELL-certified and thus provides its occupants a healthy environment. For example, it requires the right filtering technique for water pipes and strict limits on what substances water can contain.

This certificate also requires that a building’s water sources be tested for the presence of certain herbicides and pesticides that can cause liver and kidney problems at high concentrations. WELL’s strict norms for quality and taste apply not only for the water in an office kitchen, but also for the outdoor drinking fountains that, for example, Brooke’s colleagues at the new Visionary office building in Holešovice have available.

“Even though water is often thought of as ‘ordinary,’ we wish to offer only the highest-quality water to the employees and other users of our office projects. The kind that, nevertheless, happens to already be offered by e.g. the tap water in Prague,” says Eva Nykodymová, who is Skanska’s employee responsible for ensuring safety in buildings and the health of their future occupants.

Some Water Facts

Brooke finished her glass of water and took one last look at the water facts she’d jotted down in her notepad. Did you know that:

  • the human body is about 70% water?
  • packaged water was already being sold in the Czech Republic in the 16th century? These jugs were usually filled from healing springs.
  • this year’s Oscar for best film went to The Shape of Water?
  • the average Czech consumes about 100 liters of water a day?
  • about 60% of the water in homes is used for flushing and showering?

The creatives’ meeting is starting in three minutes. Just enough time for Brooke to hit the bathroom. By the way, people expel about 1.5 to 2 liters of urine per day. For comparison, a dozen mice would fill up a single teaspoon in the same period, while an elephant has an output of 49 liters. (Brooke read this in the Big Book of Peeing, which she has next to her toilet.)

Brooke is the second of our eight characters who will be presenting what an ideal and healthy office should look like. Last week, her colleague Floyd described 10 different techniques for improving an office’s air quality. Did you know that what you breathe is affected by such things as the length of floor mats and the size of your office’s copier? Next week, Florentine will be divulging what you should eat and drink at work, and what to avoid.

➠➠➠ How can a mat, a wastebasket, or a door handle influence your office’s air quality?