Listen to Episode 29 of The Diabetic Toolbox Podcast: Is Your Desk Trying to Kill You? Diabetes and Desk Workers
I hope this title didn’t startle you, but if it did, then it did its job and grabbed your attention. No one was more surprised than I was to learn about the connection between diabetes and sitting. As someone who works in an office, I sit for eight hours a day, talking to clients on the phone and logging their information into a computer program. I thought a job in an air-conditioned space, where I got to work at a desk and wear pretty dresses, was safe, but it can take a toll on your physical health. But not only am I sitting at work, but I would watch a couple of hours of television in the evening, write and produce this podcast, or talk with my coaching clients on the phone.
Maybe you can relate; think about your day. How many hours do you spend sitting at a desk? And then resting from work by sitting on your sofa, flipping through T.V. shows and social media accounts before you go to bed? Many studies have raised concerns about the effects of sitting for long periods. That’s especially troubling considering that the average American spends more than 12 hours a day sitting, and sedentary jobs have increased by 83% since 1950.
Sitting for long periods has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, increased insulin sensitivity, LDL the, bad cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. It would be best if you didn’t panic because the good news is that we can mitigate the detrimental effects of sitting by implementing simple lifestyle changes. To start, you must move more. The Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes recommends that everyone break up bouts of sitting with brief activity every 30 minutes but notes that mini-exercise bursts may be particularly beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. One study found that performing three minutes of movement every half hour improved blood glucose levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. Take frequent breaks. Make it a habit to stretch or walk around your office for a few minutes.
To help manage your blood sugar and your weight. Be sure to stay hydrated, and bring your snacks and pack your lunch. Drinking plenty of water helps to maintain your body temperature, metabolism, and heart health. Aim for eight glasses a day to start and add more as you become more active. I have found that it’s easier to resist vending machines when you have a supply of wholesome foods. Good choices include nuts, baby carrots, and hummus. This tip is my favorite, pack your lunch. Save money and calories by bringing your lunch to work. You can prepare it the night ahead if you tend to run out of time in the morning.
These tips may seem simple, but they are the best because they are easier to start and incorporate into your daily routine. You don’t have to try to do them all at once; try incorporating one every week. Then, even if you are bound to a desk, you can take better care of yourself and still be productive at work. Remember, you are your best advocate; sitting for long periods is a real health hazard that could negatively affect your quality of life.
With Peace & Love,
2 thoughts on “Is Your Desk Trying to Kill You? Diabetes and Desk Workers”
Totally agree Renee. I found that my chronic back pain that I had had for over ten years, refractory to any treatment, has resolved almost completely by daily exercise and very much reduced sitting since I retired from work with long spells at computers and driving.
Thank you kaitiscotland; you are absolutely right, I will be quitting my job/ in a month, and the one thing I will not miss is the commute. So glad you were able to find relief!
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