Daily fluid intake in individuals is known to be influenced by several factors such as climatic conditions, physical activities, nature of fluid and its availability, and behavioural responses. The high temperature of the tropics is expected to increase fluid intake, and more so for labor-intensive workers. The fluid intake of sedentary and manual workers in southeast Nigeria was assessed and compared with international benchmarks. A cross sectional study was conducted among 243 subjects from both groups. The subjects were assessed and data on socio-demographic variables, weight, height and 24 hour fluid intake documented.
The fluid intake of the manual workers was significantly higher than that of sedentary workers. Higher proportions of manual workers met the fluid recommendations of WHO and the USA IOM for men on moderate activities. However, the manual workers fared poorly on fluid intake when compared with the WHO recommendation for manual workers operating in high temperatures. Though studies in other countries have shown deficiencies in populations meeting international benchmarks for fluid intake, its occurrence in workers operating in high temperatures of the tropics and its possible effects on body performance and health is of great concern and calls for public enlightenment for adequate intake.
Keywords: Fluid intake, manual workers, sedentary workers, high temperature.