Reducing the Risk of Diabetes - One step at a time
Diabetes is a chronic condition that can lead to serious complications. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is unable to adequately produce and/or properly use insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to use sugar as an energy source.
Risk factors that contribute to developing type 2 diabetes:
The Workplace Perspective: Why physical activity is so important
More and more employers are recognizing their role in promoting the health of their employees - their most valuable resource! As well, employers recognize that workplace physical activity programs:
- reduce health care costs and insurance premiums
- reduce the number of accidents on the job
- reduce worker’s compensation claims
- lower turnover rates
Research shows that increased physical activity has a measurable positive impact on:
- disability claims related to heart disease, diabetes and back-related injuries
Facts & Stats
Promoting Physical Activity in the Workplace
It is evident that business benefits from workplace physical activity programs. To be successful the program will:
- Involve a senior manager that supports individual health management
- Meet the needs of employees
- Be well-planned, officially introduced, and include a health-education component
- Encourage employees to incorporate active living into their daily lives
- Support physical activity at work (e.g. Pedometer Program)
- Establish a baseline measure of employee health before any initiative is started so that the post-participation benefits can be measured
For Employees: Why physical activity is so important
Physical activity may help you prevent type 2 diabetes. It does this by:
- lowering blood sugar by improving your body’s ability to use insulin and helping manage your glucose levels;
- lowering blood pressure;
- improving the fats in your blood by raising good cholesterol (HDL) and lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides; and
- helping to maintain a healthy weight (a risk factor for diabetes is carrying excessive weight, especially around your middle).
|Benefits of Physical Activity
||Health Risks of Physical Inactivity
- Improved sleep
- Improved focus and work performance
- Increased energy
- Weight management
- Helps you relax and manage stress
- Stronger muscles and bones
- Benefits to your heart health
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Some types of cancer
- Decreased mobility
Quick Fact: Type 2 diabetes may be prevented or delayed through increased physical activity, healthy eating and weight loss.
Source: http://www.diabetes.ca/files/cpg2008/cpg-2008.pdf (PDF 4.1MB, page S2)
Getting Started – Tips for Employees
Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines recommends that adults (ages 18-64):
- Accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week to achieve health benefits.
- Include muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities in your routine at least 2 days per week.
- Do more! Any amount of physical activity will benefit your body, but the more you do the greater the health benefits!
Start by adding 10 minutes of activity a few times a day
- Take the stairs whenever you can.
- Walk at lunch or on your break.
- Do a few stretches to relieve stress at your desk or workstation.
- Plan stretch breaks during meetings and other times during the work day.
- Start an early morning or after work exercise routine or group.
- Park further from your entrance and walk more briskly than usual.
- Get off the bus one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way.
- Start a house league in your favourite sport.
- Challenge other departments to a game of volleyball, Frisbee, catch or road hockey.
- Have a walking meeting - grab your colleagues and discuss business while taking a walk.
- Contract your stomach and back muscles while sitting.
- Try walking to your co-workers desk instead of using the phone or sending an e-mail.
- Choose active forms of transportation - walk, bike or rollerblade to work.