4 Tips to Manage Diabetes in the Workplace

The diabetes health crisis continues, despite our best efforts to educate people. The number of people newly diagnosed with diabetes continues to rise at a rapid rate. As of 2014, over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, per the Center for Disease Control. There are approximately 86 million with prediabetes and another population of people who are undiagnosed.

Most people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (previously known as Adult Onset diabetes) which can be reversed or managed with healthy lifestyle changes. Healthy lifestyle changes in those with prediabetes can reverse and prevent future diabetes diagnosis.

Every diabetic, especially newly diagnosed, struggles with the disease and management of their health. The diagnosis of diabetes is not something you can simply forget. Everything you do physically, everything you eat or drink has an impact on your blood sugar which directly impacts your overall health.

How does an employer improve the quality of life for employees with diabetes in the workplace?

  1. One of the best ways a person with diabetes can stay on track is by testing their glucose levels often, regardless of type. Having an environment that encourages and allows for breaks to test throughout the day can improve both the physical and mental wellbeing of the employee.
  2. Make sure to have healthier snack options available for all employees, such as fruit and nuts. It can help those with diabetes manage themselves better, and those without, prevent the disease. Encouraging healthier habits in your workplace can pay off for everyone in the long run.
  3. Encourage physical activity every day. Those breaks in the day that you allow for employees to test, can also be an opportunity for stretching or a quick walk. It doesn’t’ have to be strenuous but some sort of exercise throughout the day is good for everyone. A small amount of exercise can act like insulin in the body and reduce the need for medications.
  4. Provide educational material to employees on diabetes. This will create an environment of support for those struggling with diabetes, and encourage healthy lifestyle changes for those who want to prevent the disease.

These are a few things you can do as an employer to not only improve the health of your employees, but in the long run, improve your bottom line. A healthy employee is always happier and more productive. By taking these simple steps for employees with diabetes, you will make them feel more valued, resulting in a long-term commitment to your business.

This blog is Compliments of The Wellness Council of South Carolina, Kristi Falk

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