TYPE 2 diabetes is caused by having too much sugar in the blood, which happens due to problems with the body’s production of insulin. There are some risk factors which can increase the chance of this happening, and one study has revealed working for a certain number of hours per week may raise the risk.
Type 2 diabetes is often linked to being overweight, putting people who follow a poor diet and don’t exercise regularly more at risk of developing the condition.
However, according to a study by medical website Treated.com, working long hours may also increase the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Using data from the OECD and WHO for 39 countries across the world, Treated.com observed that overall diabetes prevalence was higher on average in nations with a working week of more than 37.5 hours.
The five countries with the longest working weeks were Colombia, Turkey, Costa Rica, Mexico and South Africa.
In these five countries, the percentage of females who were overweight was higher than the percentage of males who were overweight.
But, interestingly, in the majority of countries with a shorter working week of 37.5 hours or less, the percentage of males who were overweight was significantly higher than the percentage of females who were overweight.
Treated.com Clinical Director Dr Daniel Atkinson said the findings could be a result of the fact that people who work longer hours have less time to prepare healthy food, forcing them to rely on unhealthy ready meals or fast food.
“An argument can be made that, the longer hours a person works, the less time they will have to make considered food choices or prepare their own food; and the more likely they are to rely on more convenient, typically unhealthy options (for example processed ready meals, takeout, or fast food),” said Dr Atkinson.
According to the NHS, following a healthy diet and keeping active can help to manage blood sugar levels, minimising the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
People who already have type 2 diabetes are also advised to improve their diet and exercise more in order to lower blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition and can’t be cured, but following a healthy lifestyle can help to lower blood sugar levels and keep the condition under control.
Medication can also be prescribed for people with type 2 diabetes to prevent complications from occurring.
The NHS advises eating a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, while keeping sugar, fat and salt to a minimum.
The health body also advises aiming for 2.5 hours of physical activity per week.
“There are so many possible factors involved in the development of type 2 diabetes, it is difficult for research to draw a definite causal link between the condition and longer average working time,” said Dr Atkinson.
“But the correlation does raise some interesting questions around our attitudes to work, how we cope with an increased workload, and moreover what’s expected of us as employees.”
Source – Express.co.uk