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Sitting at Work Increases Women’s risk of Diabetes

Sitting at Work Increases Women’s risk of Diabetes


Research shows that women who spend four to seven hours a day sitting are more likely to show early signs of type 2 diabetes. As a result, all women are encouraged to increase physical activity to decrease their risk of developing diabetes.

"Many Americans work nine-to-five jobs and are sedentary most of the work day, increasing our risk for developing type 2 diabetes," said registered dietitian, Jessica Crandall. "The good news is that type 2 diabetes is preventable through maintaining a healthy weight and increasing physical activity throughout the day, not just after you get home from work."

If you have a desk job:

  • Take breaks throughout the day - go for a walk or go to the gym during lunch
  • Instead of calling a coworker during the day, walk to his/her office to talk
  • Take brisk ten-minute walks during breaks, or take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Stretch your muscles and stand while you're on the phone instead of sitting
  • Keep the candy bowl off your desk to avoid the urge to nibble for stress relief

According to Crandall, it is also important for you to know if you are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Older age
  • Family history of diabetes
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • Race/ethnicity. (Diabetes is at least two to four times higher among African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and Asian/Pacific Islander women than among white women.) Because of the increasing lifespan of women and the rapid growth of minority populations, the number of women in the United States at higher risk for diabetes and its complications is increasing.

"If you're at risk for developing diabetes, work with your health care provider to develop an eating plan tailored for your lifestyle," Crandall said.

"When you take steps to prevent diabetes," she concluded, "you will also lower your risk for possible complications of diabetes such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage and other health problems - that's a big reward for you and your family."



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