Contact Info  0208 226 6244 Arch 200, Prebend Gardens, Chiswick, London W6 0XT


Diabetes | The Rapidly Growing Health Concern Employers Are Ignoring!

According to the World Health Organization, diabetes is responsible for 1.5 million deaths each year.

This is not just a public health crisis, it’s an economic and social challenge, especially in the workplace.

Since 1980 the number of people living with diabetes has quadrupled to approximately 537 million.

This is predicted to increase to approximately 643 million people by 2030.

So, what can companies do to help prevent this health concern among their employees?

In this blog we’ll help you to understand diabetes, how it impacts the workplace, and most importantly what companies can do to help prevent it.


The Rapidly Growing Health Concern Employers Are Ignoring (Video)

Understanding Diabetes

The Importance of Employer Support

5 Practical Steps for Employers

  1. Education: The Foundation of Diabetes Management
  2. Promote Exercise: Encouraging an Active Workforce
  3. Healthy Food Options: Fuelling the Body and Mind
  4. Create Wellness Programmes: Continuous Support is a Must
  5. Create a Culture of Health and Wellbeing: Health is Wealth

The Rapidly Growing Health Concern Employers Are Ignoring (Video)

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic health condition characterised by elevated levels of glucose in the blood, stemming from the body’s inability to effectively use or produce enough insulin.

While there are several types of diabetes, Type 2 diabetes is the most common, accounting for around 90% of all cases worldwide.

Unlike Type 1 diabetes, which is primarily genetic and involves the immune system attacking pancreatic cells that produce insulin, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable and closely linked to lifestyle factors.

Key risk factors include obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet, and genetic predisposition.

The insidious nature of Type 2 diabetes means that it can develop slowly over time, often going undiagnosed until complications arise, making awareness and early detection critical.

Fortunately, with appropriate lifestyle modifications such as maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and adopting a balanced diet, individuals can significantly reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Moreover, for those already diagnosed, these changes can help manage the condition effectively, preventing complications and improving quality of life.

Understanding Type 2 diabetes is crucial, as it underscores the power of preventive measures and the significant role that lifestyle choices play in our overall health.

By focusing on prevention and management, we can mitigate the impact of this growing health concern and support individuals to “Live Life Better” (Our Slogan).


The Importance of Employer Support

In the face of a rapidly escalating diabetes epidemic, the role of employers in supporting the health and wellbeing of their staff has never been more critical.

Diabetes, particularly Type 2, poses significant challenges not only to the individuals affected but also to the broader organisational structure.

It can impact productivity, employee morale, and healthcare costs.

One of the most tangible impacts of diabetes on the workplace is its correlation with increased absenteeism and reduced productivity.

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, employees with diabetes are more likely to take sick leave compared to those without the condition.

In fact, individuals with diabetes have between 5.4 and 18.1 days of absenteeism compared to between 3.4 and 8.7 days for those without diabetes

The research highlights that individuals with diabetes may require time off for medical appointments, to manage diabetes-related complications, or to cope with the side effects of treatment.

This not only affects the individual’s health and wellbeing but also the operational efficiency of their teams and the organisation as a whole.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the indirect costs of diabetes are substantial. These costs include absenteeism, reduced productivity, and the inability to work due to diabetes-related disability.

The CDC estimates a total of $327 billion in medical costs and lost productivity.

This situation further emphasizes the economic argument for employer involvement in diabetes prevention and management.

Employer support can take many forms, from implementing comprehensive wellness programs to fostering a health-conscious culture.


Wellness programs may include diabetes screenings and education, providing the resources needed for employees to manage their health effectively.

By offering support, employers can help mitigate the impact of diabetes on both the individual and organisational levels.

This involves creating an inclusive environment that recognises the unique challenges faced by employees with chronic conditions and provides flexible options to accommodate their health needs.

For example, allowing flexible work hours for medical appointments or providing healthier food options in the workplace can make a significant difference in managing diabetes.

Moreover, employers who actively support their employees’ health and wellbeing send a powerful message about their values.

This can lead to increased job satisfaction, loyalty, and a positive workplace culture.

Investing in health promotion and disease prevention not only aids in reducing the incidence of diabetes among employees but also contributes to a more engaged, productive, and healthy workforce.

In summary, the support of employers is indispensable in the fight against diabetes.

Taking proactive and practical steps to address the impact of diabetes on work life is essential.

Through these actions, employers can play a pivotal role.

They enhance the health outcomes of their employees and secure the health of their business.

The benefits of such initiatives extend beyond the individual, contributing to a healthier, more resilient society.


5 Practical Steps for Employers

Whether you’re a small organisation or a large established one, these are steps that can help you to combat the growing epidemic of diabetes.

1. Education: The Foundation of Diabetes Management

Education is crucial in the fight against diabetes, serving as both a preventive measure and a management tool.

Employers have a unique opportunity to empower their workforce with knowledge, making education a pivotal first step.

By organising regular workshops, online seminars, and health talks led by professionals, employers can provide valuable information on the risk factors, prevention strategies, and management of diabetes.

This initiative not only raises awareness among employees but also equips them with the tools they need to take charge of their health.

Incorporating educational resources into the company’s wellness program, such as distributing informative newsletters or creating an online health portal, can further reinforce the importance of health literacy.

Ultimately, an informed workforce is a healthier workforce, making education an essential investment in the long-term wellbeing of employees.


2. Promote Exercise: Encouraging an Active Workforce

Promoting exercise is a critical step for employers aiming to combat diabetes within their workforce.

Regular physical activity is known to improve insulin sensitivity and help manage blood glucose levels.

This makes it an essential component of diabetes prevention and management.

Employers can encourage a physically active workforce by introducing initiatives such as subsidized gym memberships, on-site fitness classes, and creating walking or cycling groups for commuting.

Encouraging employees to implement walking meetings and take active breaks during the workday can also contribute to increasing daily activity levels.

Organising company-wide challenges or fitness events can foster a sense of community and motivation among employees to stay active.

Check out our “7-Day Wellness Challenge” It’s a great way to encourage employee health.

By creating a supportive environment that values physical health, employers not only aid in the prevention of diabetes but also contribute to overall employee wellness.

This leads to a more energetic, productive, and healthy workplace.


3. Healthy Food Options: Fuelling the Body and Mind

Offering healthy food options at work is a vital step employers can take to support diabetes prevention and management among their employees.

Nutrition plays a key role in regulating blood sugar levels, and by providing access to nutritious meals and snacks, employers can make it easier for employees to make healthier dietary choices.

Initiatives could include partnering with local vendors to supply fresh, whole foods, installing healthy vending machines, or offering fruit baskets and healthy snack options in common areas.

Employers can also organise nutrition workshops or cooking demonstrations to educate employees on how to prepare balanced meals that support blood sugar management.

Implementing a policy that encourages healthier food options during meetings or company events can further reinforce this healthy eating culture.

By prioritising nutritional health in the workplace, employers can help employees maintain stable energy levels throughout the day.

This can improve focus, productivity, and overall wellbeing, all while combatting the risk of diabetes.

lady making a healthy smoothie

4. Create Wellness Programmes: Continuous Support is a Must

Creating comprehensive wellness programs is an essential step for employers dedicated to fostering a healthy workplace environment and combating diabetes.

These programs should offer a holistic approach to health, addressing not just physical wellbeing but also mental and emotional health.

A well-rounded wellness program might include components like health screenings for early detection of diabetes and other health conditions, wellness workshops, smoking cessation support, mental health first aiders, exercise classes, and more.

Employers can also introduce incentives for participation, such as rewards or competitions, to encourage engagement and motivation among employees.

To ensure these programs meet the diverse needs of their workforce, employers should seek input from employees on what types of support and activities they would find most beneficial.

Additionally, providing flexible participation options can help accommodate different schedules and lifestyles.

This helps to ensure all employees have the opportunity to engage.

By investing in wellness programs, employers not only aid in the prevention and management of diabetes, but also contribute to a culture of health.

This benefits all aspects of employee wellbeing, leading to a more satisfied, productive, and resilient workforce.


5. Create a Culture of Health and Wellbeing: Health is Wealth

Cultivating a culture of health and wellbeing is essential in the fight against diabetes and in promoting overall employee health.

This means creating an environment where making healthy choices is both encouraged and easy.

Employers can lead by example, showing their commitment through participation in wellness programs and making health-conscious decisions part of the company’s identity.

To embed wellness into the company culture, consider initiatives like flexible schedules for exercise, spaces for relaxation, and policies that encourage healthy behaviours.

Celebrating health achievements and sharing wellness tips and success stories can reinforce the importance of health.

Key to this cultural shift is making sure wellness is inclusive, accommodating diverse health needs and preferences.

By doing so, employers not only support diabetes management but also build a workplace where everyone feels valued and motivated to maintain their health.

Overall leading to a more productive and satisfied workforce.

happy staff because of their workplace wellbeing culture

To conclude, the fight against diabetes is an opportunity for employers to champion workplace wellness.

By prioritising a healthy workplace culture employers can significantly impact diabetes management and prevention.

These efforts not only enhance employee health but also contribute to a more engaged and productive workforce.

The commitment to employee wellbeing is an investment that benefits everyone.

At Loving Life, we help companies support the health and wellbeing of their employees.

Get in touch to see how we can work together to support your workforce.


Tyler Lowe – Health & Wellbeing Speaker

BSc Sport & Exercise Rehabilitation

Portrait of Tyler Lowe Wellbeing Speaker