Unsupportive colleagues and high stress levels at work may be the cause of diabetes—even in employees who may seem to be healthy. Published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, this is yet another study indicating the link between our workplaces and our health.
The three-and-a-half year long study of employees [both genders] established that work conditions can cause diabetes. Those who got good support from colleagues had a 22 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes. And participants who described themselves as either over- or under-worked were 18 per cent more likely to develop diabetes.
“You don’t want to see working populations have an increasing rate of diabetes. It’s costly to both employees and employers, resulting in absenteeism and triggering expensive medical insurance,” Dr Sharon Toker, the lead researcher of the study, explains.
With technology allowing us to be connected 24×7, there is an increasing expectation that deadlines be met even if it means working during non-working hours. This aggravates work-related stress.
One interesting aspect of the study is that a dramatic decrease of the workload does not have a huge effect. Employees feel too stressed when overloaded, but they also need to feel challenged to get some kind of job satisfaction, notes Dr. Toker.
She suggests that it is important to find the right degree of workload. Also, bosses must promote social interaction between employees and praise them for the efforts.