Working From Home With Type 2 Diabetes
Last updated: February 2022
Over the past two years, there has been a shift in how many individuals work. Many people who initially worked in an office setting have begun working from home. As some people have started to return to their offices, many employers are switching to a hybrid work model that allows employees to work remotely from home a few days each week.
Working from home and managing diabetes
So, how does working from home impact the management of type 2 diabetes? This article will discuss the benefits and downsides of diabetes management when working from home and provide tips for staying healthy while working from home.
Benefits of working from home
In general, the option to work from home has some health-related benefits. For example:
- Less time spent commuting to and from an office.
- Enhanced opportunities for getting more sleep, or to add in more breaks in the work schedule and meetings.
- Fewer temptations for eating workplace treats (i.e., birthday cake or leftover Halloween candy).
- Ability to prepare meals at home instead of going out to eat or using a vending machine.
- All diabetes supplies are easily accessible.
Drawbacks of working from home
There are several potential health-related drawbacks of working from home. These could lead to having more difficulty managing blood sugar levels or weight. For example:
- Difficulty finding a reasonable work-life balance.
- Excessive snacking or stress-eating since the kitchen is always "open".
- More time spent sitting/sedentary.
- Fewer ways to connect with coworkers and friends which may lead to loneliness or isolation.
Healthy tips for working from home
Promoting a work-life balance
Try to keep a schedule! Schedule work and leisure hours (time with family, time for hobbies, etc.), which will help create a good work-life balance. Give yourself time in the morning to enjoy a balanced breakfast, cup of coffee, or go for a walk. This will give you space to ease into your workday without feeling rushed.
If possible, create a workspace that is separate from other parts of your home. And, try to set up an ergonomic working space to enhance your productivity and promote good posture. A dedicated workspace will provide a physical separation between where you work and where you live, all under one roof.1
Work on alleviating stress. Activities such as meditation, yoga, or talking to a trusted friend can help reduce stress. If stress, anxiety, or a depressed mood are getting in the way of your day-to-day activities, consider speaking with a mental health professional.
Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity each day. You can schedule this active time into your day. For example, you can move around or stand up from your desk every 30 minutes to break up sedentary time. Setting a timer will help you remember.
Breaking up sedentary activities is associated with blood glucose and waist circumference improvements. If possible, try to stand during work meetings. Or, if you don't have to be on camera, try going for a walk while listening in on a work meeting.2
Even if you work from home, pack your lunch and snacks for the day. Packing a lunch will help you plan a healthy, balanced meal and reduce the temptation of grabbing whatever is available.
Keep a water bottle within arm's reach to ensure that you stay well hydrated. Add fresh lemon and lime slices to the water bottle for added flavor.
What tips are helpful for you when working from home?
Do you find it difficult to "eat right" and stick to a nutrition plan?