A work environment can be a difficult place for individuals who have type 2 diabetes. The condition requires a high degree of attention. This may mean individuals need to take regular breaks to check their blood sugar, take medication or eat something. Yet this may not mix well with the demands of today’s high-pressure workplace.
In fact, many diabetics reported in a recent survey that their workplace does not offer them enough flexibility to effectively manage their condition.
In a poll of 278 diabetics, only 38 percent said their job allowed them to take extra time, have more privacy to administer self care or work an adjustable schedule to deal with their condition. The team that conducted the survey suggested that this conflicts with requirements set forth by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which states that employers must provide adjustments or modifications to allow people with disabilities to work.
“Many people living with diabetes are hesitant to ask for breaks for blood sugar testing or other accommodations at work because they fear their employer might wrongly interpret it as a limitation,” says Paula Ford-Martin, editor-in-chief of dLife. “The reality is, however, that people living with diabetes are not only fully productive employees, but are legally protected in the workplace.”
Aside from the requirements of an individual’s position, there a number of other work-related factors that can make it difficult for individuals with type 2 diabetes to manage their condition. In larger offices, there may be many birthdays or other events that prompt colleagues to bring sweets into the office.
Additionally, many jobs these days involve long hours sitting at a computer. This provides individuals with few opportunities for physical activity, which can help bring blood sugar levels to within a normal range.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most intensive diseases to care for. It requires constant vigilance and regular attention. Any break in this regimen can put individuals at risk for suffering complications resulting from unregulated blood sugar.