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8 Ways To Keep Cool In The Workplace This Summer
Working in health and social care environments can often be physically demanding and tiring, with the addition of warmer weather making even the simplest of tasks more difficult to achieve. With summer now firmly on its way, and with it (hopefully) some warmer spells of weather to enjoy, we thought we’d share with you our eight best tips to stay cool in the workplace this summer.
1. Hydration is everything
- Staying hydrated should be something we consider every day, but a busy working schedule means we often forget to stay hydrated and the effects of dehydration are only multiplied with heat. Simple ways to combat this can include using a larger volume water bottle, eating foods with high water content like fruits, and avoiding water absorbing foods like carbohydrates for lunch.
2. Avoid caffeinated drinks
- We get it, before and after a busy shift, you’re desperate for a warm cup of tea or coffee, or perhaps even an energy drink to give you a boost and a sense of calm. But caffeinated drinks, although giving you the feeling of more energy, may in fact have the opposite effect during warmer weather and leave you feeling sluggish. Not only this, but they can cause your body to expel more urine than other drinks, and therefore more of your body’s water as a result
- It’s easy to think opening curtains and windows during the a hot spell would bring the temperature down in a room and keep yourself and residents cool. However, having curtains or blinds closed with windows only slightly open is a better option. This is because it allows air to circulate through a room, whilst expelling heat that may already be inside. It is suggested that pale coloured curtains and blinds are better at keeping heat out, while the darker they are, the more likely you’ll be blocking heat in.
- If you’re desperate for some fresh air on a hot summers day, opening windows at night is a more logical solution to keeping cool. Not only will it provide a cooler temperature inside, it will also help you to fall asleep more quickly. Studies have shown a decrease in body temperature can assist with falling asleep more quickly and for longer periods of time.
5. Light clothing keeps you breezy
- This might not be as much of a surprise, but lightweight clothing in warm weather like heatwaves is recommended. Lightweight, natural materials allow your skin to breathe more effectively and can keep you cooler. It is also recommended to wear light colours (where appropriate) to deflect the sun’s rays and feel comfortable for longer. Be sure to keep this in mind for yourself and your residents.
6. Stay out of the sun
- We know it’s tempting to soak up the sun during your lunch break, but the suns rays are most likely to cause damage to your skin from the hours of 12am-4pm where UV levels remain high. In British Summers, UV levels at their highest typically average 4-5, however with the frequency of summer heatwaves all the more common, UV levels of 7 and 8 have also been recorded. These are levels where unprotected skin can burn in as little as 20 minutes. Remember to take sun cream with you when caring for residents outdoors – both warm and cool weather can still mean a high UV level is possible.
- Another escape from the heat are our gadgets, being able to take our mind off the warm weather by listening to music or watching TV may sound like a good idea, but these appliances can generate a significant amount of heat to a room. Similarly, consider opting out of using kitchen goods like microwaves, cookers or hobs in warm weather which have the same effect- great excuse to use the bbq or find 5 minute meals online to cook.
- Interestingly, studies have shown that pressure points have a lot to do with how your body regulates temperatures too, if you’re busy at work but find the time for a bathroom break, also consider cooling your wrists when washing your hands by plunging them in cold water for a minute at a time. Doing this to your wrists, as well as the back of your neck can help you to cool down quickly.
There we have it! Our eight best tips in order to stay cool when working in Healthcare this summer! It goes without saying, always consider the needs of your residents first and foremost, but it is equally as important you remain hydrated, cool and comfortable when on shift too! Be sure to follow us on social media @deanhealthcare to learn more healthcare tips and tricks and stay up to date on our latest vacancies in your area!