“Workplace wellbeing” is being targeted as a key area of this year’s Nutrition and Hydration Week (March 13-19).

The organisers of the awareness week are expanding their reach in a bid to improve employee awareness of their own hydration and nutritional requirements.

Derek Johnson, partner, Nutrition and Hydration Associates, explains: “Last year we received numerous enquiries from businesses and organisations seeking further information in the week to increase employee awareness, particularly about fluid intake, in the workplace. The benefits to the employer are huge, including healthier and more alert staff, and research has associated better hydrated staff with increased productivity and less work-related accidents.

“The awareness of good hydration as a vital part of a care package is rising. However, it is a vital area for staff wellbeing regardless of their area of work, all staff should have access to sufficient and appropriate drinks during their shift, yes for their well being, but also it can improve their productivity and safe working so its a two way benefit for the employer. I would encourage all employers to raise awareness of the benefits of fluid intake for staff, and to ensure their staff can access drinks during the shift.”

In addition, the week will continue to focus on the original aims of:

• Promoting the 10 Key Characteristics for Good Nutritional Care

• Promoting Mealtimes Matter and protected mealtimes

• Encouraging the introduction of nutrition advocates / champions to each health and social care setting

• Sharing good nutrition and hydration practice

• The introduction of minimum standards for good nutrition in all settings

• Promoting continued education and professional development especially in the health and social care sector for catering staff.