Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes the level of sugar, or glucose, in the blood to become too high. About 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. Symptoms include more frequent urination, excessive fatigue and wounds taking longer to heal.

Recent statistics indicate that 3.5 million people in the UK have diabetes, while an estimated half a million additional people have the condition but are unaware that they have it.

Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, drinking and smoking can play a significant role in developing Type 2 diabetes.

Stephen Thomas, Health and Safety Business Partner at the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), has provided some simple, low-cost tips for promoting healthy behaviours as part of a workplace health and wellbeing strategy.

  1. Healthy eating — Meals that are high in fat and lacking in fibre can increase the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes so developing healthy eating habits, both in and out of work, can have a big impact.

  2. Exercise — Physical activity can help to reduce weight and blood glucose levels and can also improve other health aspects too. Simple changes such as walking meetings and encouraging workers to walk to colleagues’ desks for a conversation rather than sending emails can be beneficial.

  3. Smoking — Smoking is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes as well as other conditions such as cancer. Make it easier for workers to quit smoking by promoting local stop smoking support services and allowing them to attend smoking cessation sessions during work time without loss of pay.

  4. Get checked — Anyone who has the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes should visit their GP.

  5. Support your workers — It is important employers are aware that people living with diabetes may also have to deal with complications as a result of their condition.

Last reviewed 14 June 2019