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Published on November 23, 2020

3 Vital Steps to Lower Diabetes Risks for Employees

One of the most widespread and costly chronic diseases in the United States is diabetes. According to a study by the American Diabetes Association:

  • People diagnosed with diabetes incur an average of $16,750 annual medical expenses. That’s about 2.3 times the medical expenses of a person without diabetes.
  • 1 in 7 health care dollars is spent treating diabetes and its complications.
  • Increased absenteeism due to diabetes costs U.S. companies  $3.3 billion per year.

Did you know there are steps your company can take to help employees avoid developing diabetes?

Implementing these three vital programs can help your team members reduce the risk of developing diabetes and lower individual and employer health costs.

Help Employees Prevent Diabetes with These 3 Steps

Offer Blood Sugar Screenings to Identify Prediabetes

Many employers offer annual biometric screenings. By including a fasting blood glucose test in the biometric screening panel, employees can be alerted to high blood sugar levels that may indicate diabetes or prediabetes. 

● Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. adults has prediabetes; yet, nine out of 10 people with prediabetes don’t know they have it.

● Generally, anyone with a fasting blood sugar level of 100 mg/dl to 125 mg/d is considered to have prediabetes.

● Employees who have a high fasting blood sugar level can be referred to an occupational health provider or their primary care physician to see if more testing is needed. The next step is often to perform an A1C blood test to measure the average blood sugar level over a three-month period.

If someone knows they have prediabetes, they can take specific steps to prevent diabetes, so it’s important to identify.

Bring Prediabetes Education Classes and Coaching to the Workplace

Those with prediabetes can cut their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in half by losing weight with healthy eating and increased exercise.

In the Triad area of North Carolina, a growing number of companies are offering a Prediabetes 101 Class. The on-site classes are offered through  Cone Health Employee Health & Wellness. Employees who have been diagnosed with prediabetes or who are at risk of developing diabetes are able to participate in the three-session class.

The class includes:

  • A look at factors that contribute to the development of diabetes
  • Ways to make healthy lifestyle changes that can prevent Type 2 diabetes
  • Specific tips for nutrition, weight management, and exercise
  • An individual 30-minute health coaching phone call

Currently, there are options for virtual classes if the class cannot be conducted in person due to COVID-19.

Try On-Site or Virtual Exercise Classes

Contracting with an employee health and wellness provider to offer exercise classes can often motivate employees to become more active. Classes like Zumba, Yoga, and Circuit Training are often popular, and your team members will appreciate having convenient access to free classes. Ask if there are options for classes to be conducted on-site, at a nearby location, or even virtually.

Employees who have participated in a prediabetes education program will see your company is committed to helping them reach important goals.

Explore Screening, Education, and Exercise Programs for Your Company

To talk to an employee health specialist about programs to lower diabetes risks for your team, contact Jacqueline Heyward at 336-832-7315 or jacqueline.heyward@conehalth.com.  Your company can contract for one service or a bundle of services, including biometric screenings, the Prediabetes 101 class, exercise classes, and more with Cone Health Employee Health & Wellness.

3 Vital Steps to Lower Diabetes Risks for Employees