Is Your Job Putting You at Risk for Diabetes?
Working in a sedentary job can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes and other health problems. Find tips for creative, small and powerful changes in diet and exercise that can help.
By: Sue Cotey and Andrea Harris, RNs
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Does your job keep you stuck at a desk or sitting behind the wheel for long hours? We all know being sedentary isn’t good for us, but if your job requires it, there are creative ways to help overcome the health risks.
What exactly are the risks? A recent Gallup poll found that transportation, production and clerical employees not only get less exercise, but they’re also at higher risk for obesity and diabetes than those in more active jobs.
For many, the challenge is to squeeze in physical activity and also find healthy food in the workplace.
Research shows that taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes by as much as 30 percent. This modest goal can offer a big reward.
But if that doesn’t fit into your schedule, don’t despair. Here are other ways to be more active:
Use a standing desk. It’s a trend — simply standing instead of sitting while working at your computer improves blood flow and increases circulation.
Take more breaks and discover creative ways to move.
Don’t forget off-the-clock time. Think about the week as a whole. If you can’t do 30 minutes of exercise before work, aim for 150 minutes of movement each week, which includes evenings and weekends.
An activity tracking device or fitness app can help you track of all your movement. These tools can even offer reminders to get up and move around when you can.
The less access you have to healthy food, the more difficult it is to control your weight and reduce your risk of health problems. It may just take a little thought to improve your situation.
A few small changes can make a big difference:
There are a couple other habits that can derail your efforts to improve your health. Two more tips:
A sedentary job can make it more difficult to follow a healthy lifestyle. But reducing your risk of obesity and diabetes can begin with a simple healthy packed lunch or a vow to use the steps instead of the elevator. You can build healthy habits from there.