Are we creating work spaces that are havens for chronic diseases? Is there a need to innovate customized work spaces for India, especially Hyderabad with the high incidences of lifestyle-related diseases here?
Ready for No Car Days and Sit-Stand Workstations?
Hyderabad and Diabetes
You are what you eat. And, your body is constantly reacting to what you do with it.
Hyderabad has one of fastest emerging IT industries second only to Bengaluru. All this owing to brilliant minds putting in innumerable hours dedicated to IT-enabled services. Amidst this, we all forget one basic thing which doesn’t impact instantly but in the long run has many drawbacks – sedentary lifestyle and the risk of diabetes.
There is significant growth in the IT industry in Hyderabad, but the quality of life has declined. We stare at the screen for endless hours, keep shifting positions on the chair, order lunch that does not require a lot of effort to eat and divert hours from every other activity to continue looking at the computer screens. Alas, sedentary lifestyles have dawned upon us.
Diabetes specialists in Hyderabad feel that more and more young employees are at the risk of getting diabetes due to sedentary lifestyles and poor dietary choices. Sadly, this is a huge healthcare burden.
The Burden of Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that grows with you. It can be managed, but not cured. Diabetics have to constantly worry about their insulin shots, medications, timely meals that contain foods with low glycemic index and possible emergencies due to extreme sugar levels.
Diabetes is one dangerous epidemic that is a leading cause of blindness, amputations, and end-stage kidney diseases. Diabetes and its related complications cause around 3, 46,000 deaths every year. Its complications include:
- Diabetic Retinopathy.
- Diabetic Nephropathy.
- Diabetic Neuropathy.
- Skin disorders.
- Musculoskeletal diseases such as frozen shoulders & limited joint mobility.
It’s also an expensive affair. Around 20% to 30% of an average family’s income has to be dedicated to regulate diabetes. Further as the disease progresses, the cost of managing diabetes and its associated complications increase.
Let’s Beat Diabetes
It has been found that around 21.14% of people in Hyderabad are diabetic and the numbers are growing rapidly. Most diabetics are between the ages of 41-50 yrs. Yet, some of the best endocrinologists here in Hyderabad reiterate that more than the age, it is the lifestyle that’s the triggering factor.
As part of our crusade against diabetes with the initiative ‘Together let’s Beat Diabetes,’ Apollo Sugar Clinics has been conducting numerous free screening camps to detect diabetes early. We have successfully screened 37,000 people in 2016 alone and aim to screen a bigger population this year.
When our data was analyzed by the best diabetologists in Hyderabad, it was found that most of the newly diagnosed diabetic patients had a relatively sedentary lifestyle, did not have much physical activity, and were not conscious of their diet.
Many diabetes specialists feel that in Hyderabad there is a need to educate people regarding healthy choices and positive lifestyle modifications.
With reduced physical activity levels and injudicious dietary choices, there is an increased risk of chronic diseases like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and osteoporosis.
The work space – Are we sedentary without choice?
We inherently think we need to sit while we work which is not the case. A typical work space, we think, is an endless maze of chairs, computers and cabins in which employees spend most of the day sitting.
Far from this, humans need to stand upright. Our heart, bowel and metabolic functions are better while standing. When we sit for prolonged periods of time, our hips, back, and legs fall weak resulting in joint pains, and complications of the musculoskeletal system.
To give a better perspective, as quoted by one of the best diabetologists in Hyderabad at Apollo Sugar “five days of lying in bed can cause increased insulin resistance in turn causing your blood sugar levels to go beyond normal.”
A team of diabetes specialists in Hyderabad have suggested to take inspiration from some companies who advocate sit-stand workstations where employees are provided ergonomic tables to place their computers. The employees themselves stand and work!
Advantages of sit-stand workstations
|· Standing desks help 30% more calorie consumption.· Reduces musculoskeletal discomfort.
· Improves blood circulation.
· Reduced risk of weight gain and obesity.
· Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
· Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Also, employees need to incorporate lifestyle modifications in work spaces. While provision of gyms in the work spaces is a great change, employees themselves can also initiate ‘no car days,’ make walks an event like a brainstorming walk, a gossip walk or a confrontational walk. They can host occasional lunches outside office, dance when the day is about to begin, stroll around the office and interact with colleagues instead of emailing them and give up sitting for 15 minutes at regular intervals.
These measures not only improve the health of the employees, it creates a dynamic environment in the work space and inspires everyone. To reduce the risk of diabetes, apart from avoiding sedentary lifestyles, denizens of Hyderabad have to make it a point to get periodical medical checkups. Remember, you need not be sick to get a health checkup.