In a couple of days time, the World Health Organization (WHO) will launch World Health Day, which falls on 7 April, the birthday of the Organization. The theme for World Health Day in 2016 is diabetes which impacts millions of people of globally.
Indeed, diabetes affects 350 million people worldwide and staggeringly, that number is likely to more than double in the next 20 years. In 2012, diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths. Can you working to prevent and detect diabetes within your own workforce?
What is diabetes?
There are two major forms of diabetes; Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production and type 2 diabetes results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes. Type 2 accounts for around 90% of all diabetes worldwide. Reports of type 2 diabetes in children – previously rare – have increased worldwide.
Why is it important to defuse the diabetes time bomb?
Cardiovascular disease is responsible for between 50% and 80% of deaths in people with diabetes. Diabetes has become one of the major causes of premature illness and death in most countries, mainly through the increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In 2012 diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths. Employees frequently affected by the condition are aged between 35 and 64.
How can you help your workforce?
The good news is that there is plenty of evidence that a large number of cases of diabetes and its complications can be prevented by a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco. Indeed, thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days and a healthy diet can drastically reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Employers can influence the prevention of type 2 diabetes and help control the effects of diabetes for their employees who are already diagnosed by taking the following steps:
- Educate and increase awareness. Employers can implement a health check programme which includes blood glucose testing. Employers can introduce health and wellbeing workshops to help raise awareness of the issues, what causes them, how results can be improved and what lifestyle changes need to be made to make a positive difference.
- Promote weight loss among your employees. Employers can provide greater support for those employees who wish to adopt healthier lifestyles by trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight. Even moderate weight loss can produce tangible improvements in blood glucose levels. At HP Towers we have a raft of great no-cost and low-cost tips to promote healthy messages so get in touch.
- Actively promote disease management. Put in place help and support for diabetic employees. Diet, exercise and coping skills can continue to be effective for individuals already diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Different types of insulin control mechanisms and medication may also be added.
How can I get involved?
For World Health Day, you can get some posters, get involved on social media and get some great information together for your workforce – the WHO website is a great place to start and if you’re considering diabetes checks for your staff then call the HP Team on 01295 230120.