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Delaney R. Baird, Cailin J. Kerch, Alison L. Hooper, Lee J. Winchester. The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

BACKGROUND: There is little research on teacher health and wellness in the United States, and almost nothing available on the effects of water intake on teacher health and wellness. The purpose of this study is to (1) investigate how school policy affects the ability of teachers to drink adequate fluids and use the restroom when needed; (2) to determine how this may impact teacher kidney and heart health. METHODS: Eighteen elementary school teachers were included in the study (age: 33.56±9.2 yrs, body fat: 36.37±10.6%). Pre and post school day vital assessments were taken, with pre-testing occurring before student arrival and post-testing once students had left. Resting blood pressure and heart rate were measured using an automated BP monitor and Polar H10 HR monitor, respectively. Height, weight, and body composition were derived using a multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis scale (BIA; Tanita RD-545). Urine Samples were collected pre and post for analysis of urine specific gravity (USG). Data was analyzed using a paired samples t-test for time (pre-post) and Pearson correlation analysis at an α of p < 0.05. RESULTS: There was a significant (p=0.048) reduction in USG from pre-testing (1.021±0.008) to post-testing (1.017±0.008). It was determined that 44.4% of participants were dehydrated at the end of the day based on USG, and 61.1% of participants did not meet the recommended water intake. There was a strong, significant (r=0.54, p=0.022) correlation between oz. of water consumed and post-pre body-water%. There was a strong, significant, inverse correlation (r=-0.55, p=0.029) between perceived difficulty with using the restroom vs age of the teacher, suggesting that younger teachers perceived it to be more difficult to access the restroom. Moderate correlation (r=0.44) was seen between water consumed and change in blood pressure (post-pre), but it was not significant (p=0.0654). Only 16.7% of teachers exhibited stage 1 hypertension based upon SBP, with the rest of the participants being normotensive. DISCUSSION: Our results provide a characterization of teacher health profile and how daily restroom access affects these measures. It appears that restroom access is limited and reduces fluid consumption for most teachers. Additional research is clearly needed in this population.

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