Tips for coping with the heat in an office environment

Back at work in the office, or even if you are still working from home, working in the current heat of 25-27 degrees C can be quite difficult, heat often causes difficulty concentrating and drains energy in simply trying to stay cool.  Here are a few tips on how you can stay cool in the summer heat:

  • Wear loose clothing, preferably clothing made from natural fabrics as these feel cooler on the skin while also absorbing any perspiration.
  • Drink plenty of fluids including water and herbal teas. Avoid caffeine-based drinks as they tend to make your heart beat faster which in turn increases the heat in the body. Ideally aim to drink a minimum of 2 litres of water daily.  Hot teas make the body perspire which in turn cools you down, whereas ice cold drinks have minimal effect on cooling you down, even though you feel good and refreshed at the time. Remember that too many ice-cold foods and drinks can cause an internal chill which might result in digestion issues, therefore minimise the intake of ice-cold foods and drinks.
  • Keep a bottle of water with you all the time so that you don't get dehydrated. As the brain is approximately 70% water, dehydration makes it more difficult for the brain to function at optimal capacity. If you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated! Ideally start your day with a large glass of room temperature water with lemon and then take sips of water consistently throughout the day.
  • Hold meetings outside the office under some trees where you can pick up any breeze. Start the meeting with a little stretching and movement which is good for the mood also. Regular movement, even if only for a loo break or to make yourself a cuppa stops you from becoming drowsy at your desk particularly, in the post prandial time of day.
  • Travel in the cool of the day to avoid overpacked trains and buses. If you can start earlier and finish earlier this will minimise the amount of time you are spending in a small space with lots of body heat becoming hot and sweaty before you even start your working day.
  • Eat cooling, lighter foods such as salads and chilled soups, raw vegetables, grilled fish and Mediterranean style vegetables – aubergine, courgette and peppers for lunch rather than something heavy which requires lots of body heat to digest.
  • Eat outdoors in a green space if there is one conveniently located to enjoy nature’s calming and soothing effects.
  • Use aromatic waters, such as citrus, rose or chamomile to spray yourself, especially your face when feeling overwhelmed with heat. The cooling effect provides relief by taking out the heat.

If you would like to find out about health & wellbeing training in the workplace as well as other leadership courses, visit the Green Key Personal Development website

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