Supportive coworkers can lower workaholics’ high risk for type II diabetes

Exposure to a lot of pressure at work has both short-term and long-term effects of workers.

December 10, 2015 04:39
1 minute read.

Business colleagues [Illustrative]. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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Being a chronic workaholic can raise the risk factors for type II diabetes, though working in a supportive work environment can lower the danger.

Dr. Michal Biron of the business administration department at the University of Haifa, who led a recent study on workaholics, said, “It’s important that managers in the 21st century have their finger on the pulse of their employees, not only on their productivity and output, but also by developing awareness of their staff member’s health.”

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Exposure to a lot of pressure at work has both short-term and long-term effects of workers. In their first study, Biron, Dr. Sharon Tucker of the business faculty and Yifat Gavish of the psychology department at Tel Aviv University, worked to determine whether constant hard work could lead to Type II diabetes, which usually results from being overweight, a bad diet and a lack of exercise.

A total of 160 employers from various sectors underwent blood tests at an Israeli hospital for fasting plasma glucose and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C), which tests blood sugar levels for the previous three months.

They were tested twice, once immediately and another time after 26 months. No one who had diabetes was included in the group.

The participants were asked to rate how pressured their work was. Those that said their jobs were “very burdensome, pressured and without a feeling of being in control” had significantly higher blood sugar and HbA1C levels over time than those who had more relaxed jobs. If there is no way of evading the nature of the job, the study’s authors said managers should provide more support and try to redefine the jobs to lower pressure or suit the demands of the job to the worker to protect his health.

A supportive work environment, in which all employees are friendly to each other helps reduce the risks, they researchers continued. It also can lower the number of sick-leave absences, according to Biron, who also examined 240 workers in a Chinese factory.

She found that good surroundings and camaraderie at work reduce the prevalence of headaches and illnesses that cause people to say at home.

Even though this findings is from a country that has a distinct cultural distance between bosses and workers, Biron said she thought emotional and social support at work would be beneficial here too.

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