Nutrition, Physical Activity and Diabetes

Nutritional behavior change can be directly influenced by resources available in the workplace. Because adults spend the majority of their day at work, it is applicable to focus on nutritional influences within the workplace that affect the overall health and wellbeing of its constituents. By offering nutritious foods to employees, a worksite has the ability to encourage healthy employees, which has the potential to influence individual nutritional behaviors outside of work.

In addition to improved nutrition at worksites, it is important to encourage physical activity during the workday. There are many health benefits of physical activity including lowered risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, some cancers, and depression.1 Currently only half of all American adults report meeting the physical activity guidelines, and over 150 million American adults work.1 This provides a unique opportunity for worksites to include physical activity into their offices in order to improve the amount of physical activity their employees are doing. This increase in physical activity and improved nutrition can help to reduce health care expenses for the employer, increase employees’ productivity, reduce absenteeism, and increase morale.1

Improved nutrition and physical activity both help lower the risks of diabetes. Prediabetes effects one in every three Americans which equates to 86 million people.2 It is important for employers to understand how to help their employees with prediabetes, or diabetes in order to improve their employees’ health. Diabetes prevention includes promoting a healthy diet and physical activity.