Publication Details

Bell, A., Walton, K. & Tapsell, L. (2015). Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink: the challenge of bottled water provision to older users in hospitals. In G. Lindgaard & D. Moore (Eds.), Proceedings 19th Triennial Congress of the IEA, (pp. 1-2). Australia: International Ergonomics Association.


Food and beverage packaging has been found to contribute to malnutrition amongst the older hospital patient. Reliance on bottled water as a hydration source for hospital patients is a growing phenomenon. This paper examines the interaction of the older user and bottled water packaging supplied in NSW hospitals. Findings demonstrate that water bottles are among the most difficult packs to open by older users and require high levels of hand strength. The provision of plastic bottled water in hospitals needs to be evaluated for system effectiveness: hydration intake, user experience and cost effectiveness.