80% of Americans Don’t Meet Hydration Health Standards

BY Rachel Cagle
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Corporate wellness is a nearly $8 billion industry in the United States. Yet new research conducted by Quench, a leading provider of filtered water systems, finds that most American employees don't readily consume, on a daily basis, the one resource that is largely available, very inexpensive, and vital to health and productivity: water.

The Quench study found that more than three-​quarters (77%) of those surveyed did not think they consumed enough water on a daily basis to meet their health needs.

The national survey of more than 1,000 employed Americans found that the most frequently cited cause for not drinking enough water was lack of thirst (43%). While that might seem logical, experts say that thirst is not an on-​time indicator of dehydration because the thirst sensation doesn't appear until after people are dehydrated.

This may sound surprising since, according to AudienceSCAN, 54.8% of U.S. adults fall under the Bottled Water Drinkers category. However, that only means that these consumer drink bottled water at least once a week. In order to reach the goal to eat healthier that 53.8% of this audience set for themselves for this year, they need to start drinking more water.

While optimal consumption varies by individual, conventional wisdom calls for eight 8‑ounce glasses of water a day (64 ounces). Experts say that even mild dehydration can have a negative impact on productivity, energy level and alertness.

Demographic Differences

Generally, men drink more water than women. More than one quarter (27%) of men say they consume enough to meet their health needs, while only one in five (20%) of women do.

Generational differences exist too. Millennials (the largest generation in the workforce) are more likely to always drink enough water during the work day (26%) versus Gen X (21%) and baby boomers (20%).

Still, millennial employees cite similar obstacles as their Gen X and baby boomer counterparts for not drinking enough water: lack of time to get it (39% vs. 36% and 31%t, respectively), having to pay for it (27% vs. 24% and 16%, respectively) and dislike of the taste of the water at work (24% vs. 22% and 19%, respectively).

According to AudienceSCAN, 19.3% of Bottled Water Drinkers are between the ages of 45 and 54, 18.4% are ages 65+, 18.3% are 55- to 64-​year-​olds, 16.2% are between the ages of 25 and 34, 15.5% are ages 35 to 44 and 17- to 24-​year-​olds make up the remaining 12.4 percent. They're fairly evenly divided gender-​wise as well, with 53.4% identifying as female and 46.6% as male.

Tips for Employers

Quench offers three tips for workplaces to encourage employees to drink more water during the workday.

  1. Given concerns raised by employees about not having enough time to get water during the day, review floor plans to ensure that water sources are only a short distance from workspaces.
  2. Create engaging communications campaigns that encourage employees to get up, walk around and get a glass of water throughout the day, and promote a healthy workplace culture.

More than half of Bottled Water Drinkers get most of their local news from their TVs, according to AudienceSCAN. TV commercials are also the advertising medium that drove 61.8% of this audience to action last year. Direct mail ads and coupons were also a motivator for 58.2% of Bottled Water Drinkers within the last 12 months. Sponsored search results also drove 48.7% of this audience to action within the same amount of time.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.