Job stress is right up their with weight, smoking and lack of exercise as a high risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, according to numerous studies over the last decade. In one study, researchers from Tel Aviv University’s medical school tracked 677 working adults over three to five years. Roughly half of this group reported high stress on the job, and the high-stress group was 1.8 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, even when factoring in age, sex and obesity.
According to one of the researchers, a workers ability to cope with job stress is also a significant factor.
“It is possible that these people are prone to diabetes because they can’t handle stress very well,” Melamed said. “Their coping resources may have been depleted not only due to job stress but also life stresses, such as stressful life events and daily hassles.”
Stress can disrupt the body’s ability to process glucose, especially in people whose genetics make them vulnerable, said Richard Surwit, chief of the Division of Medical Psychology at Duke University Medical Center.
This provides yet another indicator of the importance of Work/life balance and the preventive benefits of wellness and stress management programs in the workplace.