The Risks of Dehydration When Working in the Backyard & How to Avoid

The Risks of Dehydration When Working in the Backyard & How to Avoid


Spending time in the backyard on DIY projects such as gardening, assembling a shed is a common activity for Aussies. We can spend hours in the backyard and with our harsh Australian sun it is very important to stay hydrated at all times.

There are serious risks of dehydration when spending long periods of time in the sun. And when you are working away in your backyard you tend to be relaxed and less aware of your water consumption.

I interviewed Rod Archdall from recently who has been in the water industry for over 20 years and has incredible knowledge on this topic.

Rod had some advice to share regarding keeping hydrated projects outdoors including assembling steel buildings in their backyard.

Rod shared that the American Institute of Medicine indicated that men require about 3 litres per day of fluid and women 2.2 litres. An additional 650-750 ml of fluid comes from food eaten. These figures are for an average activity level. Large body size and higher activity levels require a higher intake of fluid. Douglas Casa, Ph.D. in Hydration advises,

Monitor urine colour. It should be pale yellow or like lemonade. If it’s darker, like apple juice, you are most likely dehydrated.”

Before preparing to build a shed, the builder must have a hearty breakfast and half a litre of filtered water. He should carry along a flask with cool water and keep it handy.

Building a shed is a mix of manual and mental labour. When actually exerting and perspiring, you must have one glass of filtered water every hour on hour. When working at a leisurely pace, you should drink that glass once every two hours. Staying well hydrated enhances work output and keeps the builder in good spirit, the basic ingredients of a successful venture.

Building a Shed

There is a huge variety of types of sheds. You could build a garden shed, garage, carport, aviary, pool pump cover, patio, gazebo, or something special. The picture below is of a double garage. As is evident, a lot of labour and effort has gone into erecting the garage.

Risks of Dehydration - working in the backyard

Image courtesy

What is not obvious and you need to watch out for is the time and energy put into the surrounding area.

Is the plot level, or is leveling required?

How much time will it take to compact the land under the garage floor area?

Is the land boggy and if so, how much effort will be required to make that land usable?

What kind of foundation needs to be laid?

Are trees to be felled?

All these factors need to be considered, as you will be perspiring as you work, slowly but surely dehydrating.

The Role of Water in Regulating the Human Body

Risks of Dehydration - effect on the body explained

Effect of Dehydration on Parts of the Body

  • The Brain

According to researchers, staying properly hydrated keeps your memory sharp, your thought processes stable, and does not permit moods to fluctuate. Dehydration reduces the flow of oxygen to the brain, lowers neuron regeneration rate, affects your working capacity and memory, and could lead to mood swings.

  • The Mouth

Dehydration makes your mouth feel dry, which in turn could cause halitosis or a bitter taste. Even your teeth could be affected.

  • The Heart

Dehydration thickens your blood and reduces its volume. Your heart is forced to work more to move the lowered blood level to sustain oxygen content to your cells, which has deleterious effects. People with atherosclerosis (hardened arteries and veins) could suffer cardiac arrest.

  • The Bloodstream

Capillaries can no longer expand next to the skin’s surface and one system of cooling the body is lost.

  • The Kidneys

Kidneys need water to filter waste from the blood and excrete it in the urine. Dehydration could cause urinary tract infections and kidney stones.

The solution is very simple: Drink enough water; stay hydrated.

The Best Source Of Water For You

While tap water is considered, it is much healthier to drink filtered water. With the surfeit of chlorine, pesticides, toxic chemicals, and fertilizers in our scheme water today, why take a chance? Filtered water tastes great and you can drink much more of it because the chlorine has been removed.

A filter could give you peace of mind and it is certainly worth considering these days.

So make sure you drink enough water and plan ahead how long you will be out in the sun. You can check the assembly page for step by step videos to get an idea of the amount of activity and time it will take you to complete your DIY project.

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