The Correlation of Work Hours and Diabetes

According to the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, people who work more than 55 hours per week have a 30% increased risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes.

Some people would say that the solution is to reduce the number of hours that you work, but this can be very problematic for individuals in a lower socioeconomic class where they really need the income to support their family.

Diabetes assist say that eating a well balanced diet can certainty help reduce the risk of diabetes. Its all about the good right.

Fortunately, there are solutions to help people who have to work long hours. The most important thing is to understand the mechanism of Type 2 Diabetes and why people with long working hours are vulnerable to this chronic condition.

After a thorough understanding, we will be able to get a solid solution.


What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes is a dysfunction of how the body controls the level of glucose in the blood. If the body senses that there is a high amount of glucose in the blood, it will signal the pancreas to release insulin to lower the level of glucose.

In Type 2 Diabetes, the insulin does not respond very well to the body’s signal. Its high resistance and low sensitivity cause it to ignore the levels of glucose in the blood. It will not perform its proper function, leading to high blood sugar levels, which translates to Type 2 Diabetes.

The ultimate question is how does the insulin loses its function or stops responding? If we continuously eat fatty food and reduce our daily activity, the body will constantly signal insulin to come out to regulate the glucose level. After the constant amount of signaling, our insulin builds up a tolerance and eventually stops responding. This can eventually lead to an impaired glucose regulation that requires a healthy diet and exercise to combat it.

What Are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

The symptoms of type two diabetes are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Increase hunger
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Blurry vision
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Frequent infection
  • Darken skin

Why Working Long Hours Increases The Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

On average, people working over 40 hours a week may experience an increased risk of developing diabetes. This is mainly because long working hours can cause a high level of stress, which increases the level of cortisol. High levels of cortisol can negatively impact insulin levels and function, limiting its ability to break down glucose.

In addition to that, high stress can interfere with the quality and quantity of sleep, which can be detrimental to an individual’s mental health. The sleep problems can contribute to weight gain and reduce insulin sensitivity that can progress to diabetes.

Another issue about people working long hours is poor lifestyle habits. Because these individuals are constantly working, they are more likely to sit at a desk all day staring at a computer with barely any physical activity. In addition to that, the food choices are usually fast food or something unhealthy because it’s more affordable and convenient.

Overtime, these horrible lifestyle choices can lead to weight gain, fatigue, and Type 2 Diabetes.


How to Reduce The Risk of Diabetes at Work?

Understandably, our jobs can be demanding and require constant work and attention. However, a healthy lifestyle regime during these long hours can help reduce the progression to diabetes.

If you are constantly sitting on a chair and staring at a computer, it’s best to invest in a standing desk or treadmill desk to keep your body active during work. You can also set an alarm clock to remind you to take a 30-minute walk in the park between work. Constant body movement and activity can increase your metabolism and keep your insulin healthy, so it continues to regulate blood sugar levels properly. Plus, these mini workouts at work can release endorphins to lower your stress level, so you are more relaxed and can concentrate better.

As for food choices, it’s highly recommended to consider a low carbohydrate, low-fat, and low sugar diet. Taking the initiative to prep your lunch and dinner at work can have a positive impact on your health. You can also have fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other healthy snacks on your desk if you get hungry during work.

Taking action on living a healthy lifestyle can improve your mental health, productivity, mood, and reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Final Thoughts

You can’t tell your boss to reduce your working hours because that could terminate your position or lower your income. Fortunately, by understanding how our body regulates glucose and how Type 2 Diabetes is formed, we are on the right track to creating a solution to reduce the risk.

If anything, multitasking with both work and practicing healthy lifestyle activities, such as taking a 30-60 minute walk in the park, eating healthy, or investing in a standing desk, can be a game-changer.

So what are you waiting for? Next time, you have to invest in a 40-hour week schedule; why not consider our strategies in this article.

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