Is Your Job Putting You At Risk Of Diabetes

Getting type 2 diabetes is not as easy as catching a cold, thank God!

But if you neglect your health, you can gradually destroy your body and put you at risk of this metabolic disorder. Factors like family history, excess body weight and poor eating habits are contributors to high sugar levels and insulin resistance. Stress may seem an unlikely culprit as well, but recent studies suggests otherwise.

Stress on the job (or any kind of stress) can drive workers to take up poor lifestyle habits. These people are more likely to eat poorly, sleep late, and exercise less. Such behavior can drive a person to develop chronic diseases like diabetes.

Researchers have looked into the potential link of work stress and type 2 diabetes. According to a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, 5000 participants within the range of 29 to 66 years old were gathered for evaluation.

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The contributors were asked to disclose their health status such as weight, smoking, and physical activity. Afterwards, each participant was assessed on his level of work stress using a detailed questionnaire. A follow-up about their health status was made after an average of 13 years.

This research found that the adults who were reported to have the highest stress levels had a 63% risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The category of people most affected by these results were men that lived on their own and had very high levels of stress.

Another culprit that plays an integral role in developing this disease is the hormone called cortisol – the substance that helps regulate blood sugar levels in your body. Stress levels also drive cortisol to spike up and affect the regulation of your blood sugar.

Past research about high levels of cortisol found links to other health problems like coronary diseases and the same connection has been found with recent studies on diabetes.

What Can You Do About It?

Work-related stress is a reality and this could be inevitable. If you feel like you have so much on your plate at work, below are some stress-relieving strategies you can try to stay healthy.

Organize

Organization is a key for achieving your goals in a timely manner. You can stay organized by keeping track of your projects and deadlines with an organizer or a mobile phone app.

If you are dealing with large projects, break them up into smaller tasks. Start your day with a to-do list and end it by crossing out what was accomplished within that day.

Never Procrastinate

A to-do list is a great starter for the day, but you won’t accomplish anything if you do not assign a timeline for each task. One method in avoiding procrastination is by tracking the hours allocated per task. Seeing that there is still time to finish a project can help you get to work and not waste time.

Avoid Taking Too Much Load

To avoid stress, know your limits. Do not overcommit to certain projects that you know you will not finish on time. If no one else can help you out on the task given to you, make sure to let your superiors know the timeline that they can expect for the finished work.

Limit Interruptions

If you are getting interrupted all the time by colleagues or other external distractions, try to address these issues before you start your duties. Ask your office mates to give you some block of time so as not to get disturbed. If there are other factors that are out of your hands, talk to your superiors about it.

Make Time

This means if there is no work left, leave the office on time. If you work at home, avoid answering business phone calls or checking work-related emails outside working hours. Make time for resting, to be with your family and do the hobbies you love.

Making a living from an office job can usually chain you to your computer and desk the entire day. To help reverse the negative effects of physical inactivity, try alternate strategies to keep you off of your seat.

Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. If you can work on a standing desk, go ahead and do it. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and walk briskly whenever you can. And if it is feasible, propose a walking conference.

To stay healthy, you still need to get at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise and 2 hours and 30 minutes for moderate workouts each week. Try to get off from work on time and allot a daily exercise routine to stay fit to avoid diabetes.

This blog post was sponsored by Katrina Rice.

Should We Be Doing More Than Our Daily Allotment of Exercise?

The positive benefits of regular exercise are well documented. Conversely, the negative effects of too much inactivity have been shown to cause of myriad of health issues such as sarcopenia, metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes. Research has now shown the benefits of exercise can be negated if you’re sitting too much throughout the day. Finding the time to add more activity into your day, beyond what you may do for exercise, is critical. “Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure.” Exercise is considered a subcategory of physical activity. Exercise is physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and has a purpose.

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Photo Credit: www.body-languages.net

Let’s say a typical 24-hour day breaks down like this: eight hours are needed for work, another eight hours are required for sleep and the remaining eight hours is free time. Let’s take a closer look at the sixteen hours in each day needed for work and used for free time or leisure. Let’s say one hour is used for exercise, that leaves us with eight hours for our job and seven hours of free time. It’s important to understand, in order to improve various health outcomes, you need to start moving more during those remaining fifteen hours. According to researcher Clyde Wilson, Phd:

“It is not news that exercise reduces disease risk, and may add to one’s longevity by a decade or more. But “movement,” which is less intense and performed regularly throughout the day and the lifespan, is correlated to potential longevity beyond that achieved by exercise. Lack of movement, on the other hand, creates a “super-relaxed state” of muscle that reduces the metabolic rate dramatically and creates profound negative implications for disease risk and mortality. These findings indicate that movement would be more important for overall lifespan than exercise, but that exercise would be an important way to compensate for a lifestyle requiring most hours of your day to be sedentary (such as working at a computer).”

What you do the rest of the day, following your exercise session, is critical and can make an impact on longevity. It looks like the key take away is to continue to exercise but work on building in more time for activity throughout your day.

A new study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, suggest that walking just two additional minutes each hour could offset the hazards of sitting too much. According to lead investigator, Tom Greene, PhD:

“Exercise is great, but the reality is that the practical amount of vigorous exercise that can be achieved is limited. Our study suggests that even small changes can have a big impact.”

You may have the exercise component down but you just feel like your body needs more to really change the way you look and feel. Increasing your activity level throughout your workday and during your leisure time could be just what the doctor ordered.

References

Bedbhu S, Wei G, Marcus R, Chonchol M, Greene T. Light-intensity physical activity and mortality in the United States general population and CKD subpopulation. CJASN, 2015 DOI: 10.2215/%u200BCJN.08410814

Physical Activity, Exercise, and Physical Fitness: Definitions and Distinctions for Health-Related Research. Caspersen C, Powell K, Christenson G.