For 2018 Men’s Health week the focus is on men and Diabetes. Reports and statistics from Diabetes UK, and Public Health England show that Diabetes is more common in men than it is in women. Men are more likely to be overweight (BMI 25+) and to develop diabetes at a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) as opposed to women. People from South Asian and Black ethnic groups are nearly twice as likely to have Diabetes in comparison with people from white, mixed or other ethnic groups. Approximately 90 % of people with diabetes have Type 2 Diabetes. We asked our Nottingham based consultant (and Registered Dietitian) Ellen Kelly to summarise risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes and how we can all stay healthier!
Type 2 Diabetes risk factors include, but are not limited to the following:
Genetics – If you have a parent, sibling; sister or brother, or a child with diabetes, you are two to six times more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes
Age – Risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes increases with age. You are increased risk if you are over 25 if you’re African-Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian
Hypertension – If you have ever had high blood pressure this means you are more at risk
Ethnicity – Type 2 Diabetes is two to four times more likely in those of South Asian descent and African-Caribbean or Black African descent
Weight – If you are overweight, this increases risk of Type 2 diabetes particularly if you have a lot of weight around your middle
What can be done to reduce risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes?
A Healthy Balanced Diet – The Eatwell guide demonstrates the food groups, food labelling guides and traffic light systems can help make healthy choices also. You can find out more and download free leaflets/posters for your workplace here:
Weight Management; Losing weight if you are overweight – Being overweight and obese can increase risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. If you are carrying excess weight around your middle/waist, even at a healthy BMI this can increase your risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Health checks in the workplace can be a very effective way of supporting staff to take control of their own health. Health@work can provide this service and are happy to provide quotes for this.
A healthy balanced diet and physical activity can help with weight management. If you would like further support whether individual or group there are lots of further support options throughout the country. Speak with your GP or Practice Nurse to see what’s available to you in your local area. Attending a weight management group, course or appointment(s) can be a great way to get advice and support and help with motivation and goal setting also
Activity Levels – Moving more, as well as reducing the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes can help with improved mood, energy levels, sleep, weight loss or maintenance (bearing in mind that being overweight is a risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes, as well as other health conditions).
The Government recommendations regarding physical activity for adults outlines that an adult should undertake 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. Moderate activity means breathing is increased but you will still be able to talk. It is also recommended to undertake strength exercises at least 2 days or more per week. 150 minutes can sound like a lot, but can be built up to, and done in small chunks. 30 minutes on 5 days of the week doesn’t sound so bad when you put it like that! Ways to help build up physical activity could include getting off public transport a stop early or late, taking a walk on your work lunch break, taking the stairs opposed to the lift, choosing physical activity as a social activity.
Further information on physical activity can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise// and Stepjockey www.stepjockey.com have free downloadable posters which can be placed in stairwells/lifts to encourage staff to go the extra mile! There are many ways employers can help support a physically active workforce; having an active travel plan, encouraging walking lunches/meetings, having a cycle to work scheme in place or gym discounts/memberships.
Physical Activity is one of the areas which the Workplace Wellbeing Charter covers, and further support can be offered to workplaces around this, as well as the other seven areas which it covers. Our free self assessment can be taken on the website www.wellbeingcharter.org.uk so businesses can audit and benchmark what they do now against what’s considered best practice.
There are also various educational programmes available which can help you learn more about the condition as well as its management alongside accessing regular Healthcare Professional appointments. Exampled of these can include DESMOND and X-PERT. Many employers will support time off to attend these, and some course providers will give information for employers on benefits of attending. There can be evening and weekend times available too. There are also online learning and support options including Diabetes UK; Learning Zone https://learningzone.diabetes.org.uk/?_ga=2.28119612.1898221985.1528282445-80536064.1528282445 )
Why not use this Men’s Health Week to create a bit of awareness in your workplace around Diabetes and health? Forward this newsletter on to your workforce, collect and pin leaflets/posters on a noticeboard or share some low sugar recipes with colleagues? We’d love to hear how you promote it, tag us on social media @wwcharter or use the hashtag #WorkplaceWellbeingCharter