Hydration knowledge, behaviours and status of staff at the residential camp of a fly-in/fly-out minerals extraction and processing operation in tropical North-Eastern Australia

Ind Health. 2007 Aug;45(4):579-89. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.45.579.


A study was conducted with staff at a fly-in/fly-out mine camp to determine the: hydration knowledge, perceptions and behaviours; hydration status and needs; and perceived taste of potable water. A structured questionnaire was used to survey the self-reported hydration behaviour, knowledge and perception of. The study of the hydration status and needs of day shift staff while at the residential camp comprised measurements at 1800 h and 0600 h of weight, urine specific gravity and fluid intake. Staff rated the perceived taste of bottled, filtered potable and unfiltered potable waters on a seven point visual analogue scale. The mean correct responses to the knowledge items surveyed (n=78) was 9.2 out of 12. Three-quarters (n=15) of the 20 responses to an open-ended question suggested improved water taste to increase water consumption. In the hydration status study (n=46), the mean urine specific gravities at 1800 h and 0600 h were both 1.022, and the median fluid intake and loss rates were both 2.1 ml.kg(-1).h(-1). Staff (n=105) rated unfiltered water (median 4.0) as tasting significantly worse than bottled (median 6.0) or filtered (median 6.0) waters (Friedman test, p<0.001). While dehydration knowledge appears adequate, the observed fluid intakes and specific gravities demonstrate that external factors such as perceived taste of water influence hydration behaviour.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aviation*
  • Dehydration / prevention & control*
  • Drinking*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mining*
  • Occupational Health
  • Queensland
  • Surveys and Questionnaires