Being exposed to a lot of pressure at work has damaging health effects. One of these is an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, Israeli research finds. However, working in a supportive work environment could reduce this danger.
Two separate studies were conducted by Dr. Michal Biron of the University of Haifa. Biron was assisted by Dr. Sharon Tucker and Yifat Gavish of Tel Aviv University for her first study.
In study one, 160 employees from various sectors underwent blood tests to assess their fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c levels. They were tested again 26 months later. None of the participants in the group had diabetes.
Stress hormones can raise blood glucose levels in the body, and this can prevent insulin from working effectively, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The participants who rated their jobs as “very burdensomen, pressured and without a feeling of being in control” had significantly higher blood glucose and HbA1c levels. These levels were lower among those who reported having more relaxed jobs.
In the second study, Biron examined 240 workers in a Chinese factory. She noted that a supportive work environment can reduce the number of sick-leave absences and headaches or illnesses that cause people to miss work.
Biron noted that these participants had a distinct cultural distance with their bosses, but added that emotional and social support at work could benefit workers of all cultures.
Biron said: “It’s important that managers in the 21st century have their finger on the pulse of their employees, not only on their productivity and output, but also by developing awareness of their staff members’ health.”
The information in this article is adapted from The Jerusalem Post.

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