Diabetes in the Workplace

According to the Wisconsin Diabetes Prevention & Control Program, a division of the Department of Health Services, diabetes management programs are effective in the workplace.

A 12-week study of 569 male employees who had Type 2 diabetes revealed these results:

  • Employees who had assistance managing their diabetes were more productive on the job and able to remain employed longer than those who did not manage their blood sugar levels.
  • The lost earnings from absenteeism were estimated at $24 per employee per month for those who had assistance managing their blood sugar levels versus $115 per employee per month for those who had uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
  • Employees with assistance had fewer instances of needing bed rest and restricted activities than those who did not have diabetes management assistance.

By providing diabetes management education and support for your employees, you can help them manage their condition and remain productive workers. 

Diabetes Defined

Below is a general overview of types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes:

  • Usually diagnosed in children and young adults (previously known as juvenile diabetes).
  • Body does not produce insulin.  Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Most common form of diabetes.
  • Either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.

Gestational Diabetes:

  • During pregnancy (usually around the 24th week) many women develop gestational diabetes.
  • A diagnosis doesn't mean that the mother had diabetes before conceiving, or will have it after giving birth.

For detailed information on diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association.

The Employer’s Role

Since diabetic employees need education to manage their disease, employers can take an active role to help in their efforts. Here are some easy yet effective ways to assist your diabetic employees:

  • Create a supportive work environment so that employees feel comfortable performing behaviors to manage their condition (taking insulin shots or monitoring blood sugar).
  • Provide opportunities for all employees to live healthier lifestyles to reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes.
  • Provide healthy food options at employee functions.
  • Educate employees on prevention and early detection methods.
  • Increase awareness of blood sugar management.
  • Offer high quality medical care and educate your employees on the care that they have at their disposal by outlining their covered benefits, services and supplies provided to control their disease.
  • Promote blood sugar management techniques for diabetic employees to control blood glucose levels. This will improve their quality of life and will reduce health care costs.

Caravus is always available to discuss wellness programs and solutions with clients.  Our goal is to create a beneficial environment for you and your employees that leads to a healthy and successful future!