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Study Suggests Workplace Wellness Programs Help Delay, And Even Prevent, Type 2 Diabetes!

A new study touts workplace intervention programs as a way to help prevent diabetes in employees. Researchers supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases looked at people with prediabetes, meaning blood sugar levels higher than normal but not at diabetic levels. They were divided into two groups with different programs so the researchers could see what the results were after 16 weeks. What doctors found may encourage more employers to have wellness programs for workers.

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Over the 16-week period, the group of people who went to weekly, group-focused meetings lost more weight and had better blood sugar levels at the end of the study as compared to a group that received standard care. Employees in the control group were given a booklet on losing weight and attended just one informational session. Researchers concluded workplace interventions, especially in the first month, can help employees keep weight off and eat healthier. The numbers back up this conclusion.

Researchers found 69 employees who had prediabetes and a body mass index of at least 25. Half of these workers attended a 16-week lifestyle intervention course. This course included weekly meetings, in groups of 10 to 15 individuals, each with a dietitian acting as a lifestyle coach. The meetings included goal-setting initiatives for weight loss, healthier eating and increased physical activity, according to Medical News Today. After 16 weeks, scientists measured each participant, all of whom had the goal of losing 7 percent of their overall body weight.

Almost one-third of the people in the intervention group reached the goal of 7 percent and lost an average of 5.5 percent of their body weight. Less than 3 percent of the non-intervention met the 7 percent goal. Workers in the intervention group lowered fat consumption and increased fiber in their diets more often than those in the control group. Researchers learned that workers who participate in regular interventions who lose 2.5 percent of their body weight within a month stick to the program better, and these people are more likely to achieve a 5 percent weight loss by the end of the 16-week employee program.

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Employer Programs

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control suggests several types of health-related workplace programs to prevent Type 2 diabetes. Employee health surveys start the ball rolling to provide health care professionals with assessment tools and implementation opportunities for various programs. Employers can start lifestyle change participation programs that focus on nutrition and exercise. Community education programs let employees know what they can do to help manage diabetes at home, while companies can offer on-site screening in a health care setting, counseling and follow-up for people with Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. All of these types of interventions may help encourage employees to start leading healthier lives, and their journey begins at the office.

It’s not too late to start implementing changes into your lifestyle. Check out these 10 smart ways to exercise at work!

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