Recent research suggests that shift workers carry a nine per cent higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Males and those with rotating shift patterns were found to be most at risk. A report published in The Guardian suggests those in the emergency services could be at an increased risk due to the shift work they undertake.
The research involved examining data from 12 studies, which involved results from over 225,000 individuals. Around 15,000 of those included in the survey were living with diabetes.
Shift work appears to be linked to weight gain and an increased appetite, which are both considered risk factors for the development of diabetes.
Men who worked shifts were most at risk, at around 37 per cent more likely to develop the condition. On top of that, those working rotating shift patterns and regularly seeing different hours of the day or night were 42 per cent more likely than those working specific fixed shifts.
While this is the first study that has looked at diabetes, previously shift working has been linked to a number of different illnesses and diseases, including cancer, heart issues, and digestive problems.
In the UK there are thought to be around 850,000 people living with diabetes that has not been diagnosed. 2.9 million people in this country alone have diabetes – 90 per cent of which is type 2.
The best way to reduce the risk of diabetes is to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.
Occupational health can help businesses introduce measures and policies that keep employees healthier and more productive, with less days off sick through illness.
A study of women has shown that stress can slow metabolism and lead to weight gain. Fifty-eight women were surveyed as part of the research by Ohio State University.
The study asked the women about their stress levels on the previous day, before giving them a meal of 930 calories and 60 grams of fat. Researchers then measured how long it took for the women to burn off the calories.
The results showed that women who’d been party to stressful events during the previous day struggled to burn off as many calories as the stress-free women. In fact, stress-free women burned 104 more calories than those who had one or more stressful events occur in the previous 24 hours.
This indicates that stress could add up to increases in weight of around 11 pounds every year.
In addition, stressed women had higher levels of insulin, which also contributes to fat storage.
Stress can cause a whole host of problems, both mental and physical – and this study suggests that there is a connection between stress and weight gain. Being overweight can increase the likelihood of developing a range of illness and disease including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Although it is impossible to avoid everything that may cause stress, especially at work, it is imperative that employers look for ways to tackle stress within the workforce. Stress is a real cause of absenteeism in the workplace, and this can have a real impact on your business’ bottom line.
OHBM can help you to cultivate a healthier, more productive workforce. Talk to the team today.
When members of your workforce are absent due to illness, it causes a real impact on the rest of your team and your business. Productivity is reduced and other employees have to pick up the slack causing a reduction in morale. This can easily mean your bottom line is affected.
You might not think absenteeism is manageable, but at OHBM we pride ourselves on helping companies analyse their processes, reduce avoidable illnesses and get employees back to work more quickly. Talk to the team at OHBM today on 01625 268 609 about sickness absence management.