25th July 2019
by Charlotte Wilson
thoughts, weather, Workplace
Whew lord it is hot. I know I know, us Brits just can’t win. We complain all year round about grey skies and torrential downpours and then when at last the sun does shine, we collapse into sweaty sorrowful messes, lamenting the loss of cooler, more bearable days. But it is just too hot, isn’t it??
This might just be me, I am not built for the heat, I burn just by looking at a photo of the sun. But, it appears that during this latest heatwave in the UK, more and more people are coming out as fellow sun-complainers, so I know I am not alone.
It just feels so unnecessary. 30 degrees? In ENGLAND? We are a blustery little isle, we are simply not equipped to deal with temperatures over 18 degrees for any sustained period of time. Why? Because (most of us) do not have pools at our disposal. Plus, we do have that other pesky little annoying thing to do every day which is called, oh yeah, work ?
And herein lies the problem, work still needs to be done during very sunny spells, and with temperatures soaring and make-shift AC units flailing, it can be quite tough to stay sane, focused and safe when trying to still be productive throughout the working week.
So, today at Pistachio we thought we’d help make your heatwave struggles a little easier by firstly identifying some of the risks associated with human beings surviving in hot temperatures, and how best to deal with them. So grab a Mr Whippy 99’ and take a seat…
No, not a myth used by teenage girls to get out of PE lessons (just me?) heat stroke really is a thing, and it can be pretty dangerous. Heat stroke occurs when the body no longer sweats (if only hey!) and body temperature reaches dangerous levels. Symptoms of heat stroke include:
• Dry, hot reddish skin and lack of sweating
• High body temperature
• Strong, rapid pulse
• Slurred speech
The last two are not to be confused with the vaporised bulmers you’ve been inhaling in the pub garden at lunchtime.
If life wasn’t exhausting enough, add some sizzling temperature to it and you really do have a recipe for disaster. Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to a loss of water and salt, typically dispersed from our bodies through sweating (pretty gross but pretty vital for human survival). Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
• Excessive sweating
• Weakness or fatigue
• Dizziness and/or confusion
• Clammy skin
• Muscle cramps
• Flushed complexion
Yes really, cramps from the heat are an actual thing (why Lucifer why?) and they are painful. These cramps are induced due to low salt levels and are, again, typically caused by excessive sweating.
Everyone’s favourite summer-time fandangao, the classic heat rash. This is an irritation of the skin caused by (yes you guessed it) excessive sweating. Symptoms of heat rash include:
• Red cluster of pimples or small blisters
• Usually on neck and upper chest, elbow creases (or any kind of creases) and erm, the groin area apparently.
However, please don’t mistake the latter for erm, well you know, just be safe kids.
So, now you know some of the things that can go horribly wrong for the human body in the heat, how can we look to prevent them and go about our normal working day? Here are some of our top tips…
Hot Weather Safety Tips:
1. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids (this is the first and only time I will advocate this, but stay away from alcohol folks); drink about 16 ounces before starting your day and 5 to 7 ounces every 15 or 20 minutes.
2. Avoid dehydrating liquids. Alcohol, coffee, tea and caffeinated soft drinks can hurt more than help. No matter how appealing that morning coffee seems…
3. Wear appropriate clothing. Lightweight, light-coloured and loose-fitting clothing helps protect against heat. Change clothes if it gets completely, erm I’ve been told to use the term…saturated ?
4. Pace yourself. Slow down and work at an even pace. Know your own limits and ability to work safely in the heat. Even if you are just sitting at your desk all day, the heat will still affect your capacity to process tasks, so work at a manageable pace before your brain starts to sound like an over-worked MacBook.
5. Avoid getting sunburn. And please always use sunscreen, I know I’m a factor fiddy kinda gal, but for real you must protect your skin in the sun, it is our largest organ, so try not to cook it like a plucked a chicken – and wear a hat if working outside. If nothing else you’ll look fly AF.
6. Be alert to signs of heat-related illness. Know what to look for and be sure to check in on colleagues that might be at high risk. Unless they’re just beating themselves around the head with a bottle of Evian whilst on a client call, then just look the other way and carry on.
7. Avoid direct sun. Not like a vampire or anything, but find shade or block out the sun if possible if you have to be out in it in the heat of the day.
8. Eat smaller meals. Eat fruits high in fibre and natural juice. Try to avoid high protein foods if you can, unless you’re super shredded like erm, not me, then carry on I guess? I have no idea what makes you guys tick.
And there you have it – your quick and handy guide to getting through the heat-wave in one, slightly sweaty, piece!
Enjoy the sunshine and stay safe!
If, like us, you actually do have a very proficient AC in your office and you’d like to utilise your productivity into discussing your next campaign, then we’d love to hear from you!