Working long hours can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in workers of lower socioeconomic status, according to a new study.
In 2012, over 9% of the population had diabetes and diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. These numbers is evidence that type 2 diabetes is a serious matter, especially for African Americans or blacks, as we are diagnosed with diabetes at a 13.2% rate. (National Diabetes Statistics Report 2014).
Working long hours can lead to risk of type 2 diabetes. Photo credit: Clipart.com
In this new study released by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, researchers used unpublished and published data from 19 cohort studies and over 222,000 individuals from different countries. When workers of lower socioeconomic status worked more than 50 hours per week, the risk of type 2 diabetes increased by nearly 30%. I do understand that often times as single parents you do have to work long hours to make ends meet but it is taking a toll on your health. It is important to find time to exercise for at least one hour a day and try to cook healthy meals for work.
When you work long hours, you barely have enough time to sleep, you are under stress a lot, you eat unhealthy and you don’t get adequate exercise like you should. This lifestyle can also lead to cardiovascular disease and other serious health issues.
The mechanisms underlying the association between long working hours and diabetes in the low socioeconomic status group are still unknown. There are 3 different ways in which long hours could be hazardous. The first one is suffering personal hardships from low pay, then sleep deprivation and the last one relates to other indirect mechanisms. This effect could be due to deleterious consequences of working long hours on personal growth and fulfillment, and happiness but the link to the risk of physical disease remains tenuous (Kivimaki et al. 2014).
How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Even though being overweight increases the risk of diabetes, the good news is that 45 minutes or more of daily physical activity, will help you prevent type 2 diabetes (Dept. of Health and Human Services 2004). Today you will learn some proven ways to help you prevent diabetes and become a healthier person in the future.
The first thing you want to focus on is reducing your portion size. Try to keep your meat and fish servings to about three ounces (size of deck of cards). Fish happens to be my favorite meat but I still only eat it about once per week. White meats are always the better choice because they are lean. Make sure you eat breakfast each day and eat small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism going. I believe this is the best diet plan because you don’t have to eliminate the foods you love. Just reduce your portion size and eat less often (Dept. of Health and Human Services 2004).
Diet and exercise will help prevent type 2 diabetes.
The next important way to prevent having to buy glucose test strips for cash from the drugstore, is adding more physical activity to your daily lifestyle. If you have kids, you can turn on some music at home and show your kids how you use to dance. When going to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator is good exercise when you are at your job. You can’t go wrong either by taking a quick walk in the park with a friend; this is good for motivation and a nice way to benefit from cardio exercise.
Making healthy food choices such as snacking on fruits and vegetables during the day and recording everything you eat will help you reduce the risk of diabetes so eat smart. I like to bring crackers and nuts to work because the protein and fiber in these foods help me stay fuller longer. When grocery shopping, pay attention to the food labels and select foods with reduced fat, saturated fat, calories, and salt. Stay away from those types of foods as they will increase your blood pressure greatly.
Many individuals may not know this but nurturing your mind, body, and soul is another great way to prevent type 2 diabetes. Activities such as yoga or reading a book, relaxes your mind and reduces stress. Focus on keeping a cool, clear mindset and think positively as much as possible. Deep breathing and meditation can reduce a lot of tension and has indirect effects of preventing diabetes at the same time (Dept. of Health and Human Services 2004).
Although diet and exercise are the most important factors of preventing type 2 diabetes, you must understand that adverse health effects of working long hours. This new study published recently in the journal of the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, proves that working 55 hours or more per week is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in low socioeconomic status groups so be aware of that. With that being said I wish you all the best on your goals and success so stay positive and God bless.
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
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- Kivimäki et al. “Long working hours, socioeconomic status, and the risk of incident type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of published and unpublished data from 222,120 individuals” thelancet.com The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology- 25 September 2014
- Washington, D.C.: Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2004 www.webharvest.gov