Diabetes costs companies. From resignations to decreased productivity, diabetes steals consistent revenue and invaluable employees. However, implementing a well-being program can help support and prevent this disease, which can save your company money and—more importantly—can help your employees take care of themselves.
According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2019 37.3 million Americans, or 11.3% of the population, had diabetes. This means more than one in ten people are diabetic. Likely someone you work with experiences this chronic health condition that impacts how food is converted into energy.
The CDC explains, “With diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.”
Diabetes has been found to affect well-being in the work-place too, costing U.S. companies $90 billion in reduced productivity annually. Yes, you read that right. That’s $90 billion that could be put toward amplifying sales, creating quality products and services, and supporting the communities that help your business flourish.
While there isn’t yet a cure for diabetes, implementing a company-wide well-being program, like studio BE, can help reduce and prevent diabetes among your employees with offerings like mindful eating, daily movement, sleep support, and stress management.
Food should help you flourish, but hustle culture often causes us to either forget to eat during the busy workday or reach for the foods that may lack significant nutritional value. The quick and meaningful solution to this problem involves bringing mindfulness techniques and balanced foods together to practice Mindful Eating, which entails eating slowly, thoughtfully, and with enjoyment.
Honoring your food can help you maintain and create good health and feel your best while mindless or distracted eating is associated with anxiety, overeating, and weight gain. By engaging all of your senses and savoring your meals, you'll be better able to recognize your feelings of hunger and fullness and feed your body what it needs.
Remember: you and your body are in this together. Think of mindful eating as a way to repay your body for all the ways it protects, nourishes, and heals you.
A recent study in the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine found, “Work characteristics, such as shift work, long hours, sedentary job conditions, and work- related stress can potentially increase the risk for type 2 diabetes and its antecedent, obesity.”
But daily movement can help prevent this.
The Mayo clinic states, “Breaking up long bouts of inactivity, such as sitting at the computer, can help control blood sugar levels. Take a few minutes to stand, walk around or do some light activity….”
studio BE offers several Work-Day Breaks to give the whole body a chance to reconnect with the mind and move in meaningful ways. When employees are given this chance, they come back feeling more energized, focused, and motivated to produce quality work.
And when one employee experiences the transformation from burnout to holistic well-being, the whole company reaps the benefits. That’s what we mean when we say, “Self care is collective care.”
The list of reasons to get a good night’s sleep for everyone is long, but especially so for those with diabetes. The CDC states that less than seven hours of sleep per night:
- Increases insulin resistance.
- Makes you hungrier the next day and reduces how full you feel after eating.
- Makes you more likely to reach for junk foods—those that are high in carbs and sugar.
- Makes it harder to lose weight.
- Raises blood pressure and seriously increases the risk of a heart attack.
- Makes your immune system less able to fight infections.
- Increases your risk of depression and anxiety.
Mindfulness practices for rest and relaxation include meditation, breathwork, restorative yoga, and Yoga Nidra (also known as yoga sleep). Incorporating these practices before bed has been shown to improve the quality and quantity of sleep. Sound like a dream? studio BE offers several practices for improving sleep routines to ensure your employees come to work happy, healthy, and well-rested so they can rise and shine in the workplace.
Stress affects all of us differently, but individuals with diabetes may have an especially difficult time managing both the disease and everyday stressors.
In Jennifer Purdie’s recent Healthline article (https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes-and-stress), she addresses the struggle between managing diabetes and stress.
She writes, “When people with type 2 diabetes are under mental stress, they generally experience an increase in their blood glucose levels. People with type 1 diabetes may have a more varied response. This means that they can experience either an increase or a decrease in their blood glucose levels.”
Purdie suggests being mindful of when you feel triggered with anxiety to help determine proactive responses. She writes, “Do you always experience stress on Monday mornings? If so, you know how to take special steps on Monday mornings to lower your stress and keep your glucose in check.”
studio BE offers a variety of classes throughout the week (and even on the weekends because well-being shouldn’t be left at the office door) to combat those Sunday scaries, not-so-fun-day-Mondays, and weekly worries.
Employees with diabetes have enough stress to manage on a regular basis. Let work be their haven of support and creativity, not their source of dread and burden.
Diabetes won’t affect every employee directly, but if prevention and support aren’t prioritized in workplaces, it will contribute to resignations, burnout, and decreased productivity, all of which are already on the rise. And that affects every employee and the company as a whole.
Chances are you know someone living with or at-risk for diabetes whether you realize it or not. So while you’re taking preemptive steps to support them at work, be mindful of how to support them at home as well.
Let them know you see them carrying all this extra mental and emotional weight on top of the pressure that comes with climbing career ladders, raising families, and sustaining social lives. Do your own research so you get a better understanding of what they’re going through every day. Introduce them to mindfulness techniques that can help them manage mindful eating, daily movement, sleep support, and stress management.
There is no cure for diabetes yet. But when that day comes, we’ll all find ourselves more resilient, more flexible, and more emboldened with a zeal for life because we walked next to those who were strengthened (and supported) in the struggle, not crushed under the weight of it.
To those individuals in the midst of the struggle with this disease: We see you. We hear you. We’ve got you. Every step of the way.