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#WorldDiabetesDay - Beat it in the Workplace

Today is #WorldDiabetesDay in honour of Fredrick Banting.  It would have been his birthday today – in 1922, he was the first doctor who succeeded in treating a patient with insulin. 

What better day to look at your practices and policies and perhaps make some small changes to encourage and help your staff to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

 

A few simple things to think about in your office:

1. Educate the Workplace

Promote, educate and engage about diabetes with your staff.  There are plenty of useful contacts and information online (see the end). Get involved, know your onions and communicate!

2. Encourage Regular Checks

Make it part of your health check  routines and encourage staff to check their risk regularly.  There are even online checkers like http://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/start

3. Improve Healthy Eating Choices

Does your office canteen offer  healthy alternatives to the morning bacon butty or fish and chip Friday?  This is a quick win and greener options are becoming increasingly popular.

4. Launch a ’Fat Club’

By reducing your overall weight by 10% you will significantly decrease the risk of diabetes.  Perhaps you could join forces with your local slimming club, start your own or launch a weight loss month competition?

5. Create an Exercise Culture

It may not be possible to build a gym on your sales floor, but you can encourage people to get away from their desks and take a walk in their breaks.  You could also do something for charity and encourage your staff to get involved in a bike ride, swim or run etc that the company will support.

6. Change Smoking Policies

It’s a proven fact that smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes than non-smokers.  It’s undoubtedly harder for smokers in today’s society to light up, but there are still a few things you can do as an employer.  Consider reviewing your ‘smoking at work’ policy or you could you could launch a scheme that will help educate, support or even part fund give up smoking initiatives.

7. Include Social Events that don’t Involve Alcohol

It’s Friday night, lets go to the pub!  Been a hard week – lets all have a beer!  Sound familiar? You may or may not have a beer fridge in your office (HR hate this by the way) but if you do have a culture that is about going out and having beers after work, why not look at other things you can do instead?  We went to tick tock unlock recently and worked as a team to get out of a room – it was brilliant and not a drop in sight!  There are lots team building activities that you could create yourself or involve a third party – just Google it.  One of our clients is going to a dry curry house for their Christmas party (very radical) or what about linking it to exercise?

 

Whether you change your whole culture or just educate for a day, it all helps.  Anything you can do as an employer to reduce the risk of diabetes with your staff  will obviously have positive outcomes! 

It is also relevant to point out your obligations to supporting staff with diabetes and remember that although you may not think that diabetes is a disability, workers with diabetes are protected by provisions of the Equality Act 2010. 

For more information here are some useful links:

Diabetes UK

Guide to Diabetes and Employment

NHS & Diabetes

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