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.
Recent research has shown that the lack of understanding of effective health and wellbeing in the workforce is costing the UK economy more than £100billion a year. By tackling poor workplace health using more effective methods, the report says, the country could boost its GDP considerably.
UK productivity levels are at risk if companies ignore employee health, which could lead to a slower economic recovery for the country.
Of those workplaces that are looking into methods of effective health and wellbeing, too many are wasting their time and money on ineffective methods.
The study, which comes from the University of Salford and public health research consultants Caville Associates says that time and money is being wasted due to poor planning and execution of occupational health initiatives. This is despite the fact that there has been an increase in investment in workplace health over the last few years.
In answer to the problem, workplaces are being asked to form strategic partnerships to boost success rates of occupational health schemes. Asking advice from experts in the field such as OHBM, allows businesses to boost the success rates of their schemes by utilising the knowledge and experience of qualified industry professionals.
If you are seeking a way to implement a successful occupational health programme in your organisation, please speak to our advisers today. We offer free, impartial advice to senior managers, as well as a complementary analysis of your organisation, allowing you to make an informed decision.