In part two of my three part series on how to avoid those office aches and pains, I would like to delve more deeply into a key contributor to the office headache – hydration!
Now that you are stretching throughout the day to avoid those tight achy muscles as covered in part one, its time we speak about how remaining hydrated effects your body and more importantly, your brain!
(If you need a reminder on those stretches, check out this link – http://www.theosteopaths.com.au/desk-disease-part-1-crucial-strategies-avoid-live-healthier/)
Did you know that our brains are 80% water? Well you do now! So you can understand the importance of remaining hydrated throughout the day.
But how does dehydration lead to headaches?
When the brain is dehydrated, it begins to shrink and pull away from the skull. This triggers the pain receptors surrounding the brain, producing a headache.
Yet this isn’t the only way dehydration can cause a headache. When dehydrated your blood volume drops, which in turn lowers the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. This blood volume drop triggers further swelling and inflammation, worsening the headache.
Now all of that sounds quite painful and it can be easily avoided. Here are some handy tips to stay hydrated throughout the day!
- Firstly, monitor the colour of your urine. This is the best way to determine if you are adequately hydrated. A light yellow or clear colour is indicative of being well hydrated.
- Keep a drink bottle at your desk. This simple trick continuously reminds you to drink more water. See bottle, drink from bottle. Easy!
- Leave post-it notes on your computer to drink. This is another effective way to remind yourself to drink more water.
- Remember to have consistent small sips of water, rather than large gulps. This makes it far easier for the body to absorb the fluids you are taking in.
- Some fluids don’t always hydrate you! Caffeinated drinks like coffee and sugary drinks such as Coke are diuretics. These cause the body to excrete fluids faster than the normal rate therefore negatively affecting your body’s fluid mechanics
- Water can be an effective way to cut out those afternoon sweets and snacks! Often thirst is mistaken for hunger in the body so next time you want a chocolate bar to get you through to dinner – try a glass of water!
But how much should I drink?
- Women should aim to drink about 2 – 2.5L of water a day
- Men should aim to drink slightly more – 2.5 – 3.0L per day
Stand up, fill up your drink bottles and hydrate your brain!
We have now covered stretching and hydration and we are nearly there. Next up is office posture!
Remember if any of these aches or pains persist, book an appointment with your friendly osteopath at The Osteopaths of Heidelberg and Blackburn. We are here to help!
Damien is a qualified osteopath who works at our Blackburn clinic. To book an appointment please call 03 9455 3011 or book online at
– How to Identify a Dehydration Headache, Viewed August 2016 <http://thorzt.com/how-to-identify-a-dehydration-headache/#.V6lOxpN969Y>
– Better Health Channel, Water – a vital nutrient, Viewed August 2016 <https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/water-a-vital-nutrient>
– Image: Natural Ways To Reduce Headache at Work, Viewed August 2016 < http://www.boldsky.com/health/wellness/2013/natural-ways-reduce-headache-work-032465.html>
– Image: How to hydrate, Viewed August 2016 <https://experiencelife.com/article/how-to-hydrate/>