What You Need to Know About Diabetes in the Workplace

Kayla Reynolds, MS

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.

At the population level, it’s estimated that about 30 million Americans have Type 2 Diabetes. From complications including heart attack and stroke, kidney disease, amputations to over $245 billion in healthcare costs annually, the impact of this preventable chronic condition is significant.

Diabetes in the workplace is an equally widespread and expensive problem. Currently:

  • 1 in 10 employees have diabetes
  • Diabetes costs employers $10,902 per individual with the condition each year (and upwards of $30,000)
  • Employers spend $4,413 (2.3x) more for employees with diabetes as compared to those without each year

Diabetes also impacts work and the employer directly, accounting for:

  • 15 million absent work days
  • 107 million workdays lost due to diabetes-related unemployment
  • 120 million work days with reduced productivity

Employees spend more than one-third of their lives at work. As such, employers are in a unique position to address pre-chronic disease prevention and chronic disease management. Implementing a diabetes management program in the workplace provides employers an opportunity to address the unique needs of their employees, who are more willing to participate in health education, lifestyle modification, and condition management activities offered in the workplace.

While employees can benefit from improved health outcomes and increased quality of life, employers also have a high return on their investment. Employers can benefit from reduced healthcare expenditure, increased productivity, and happier, healthier employees.

Learn how you can address the growing epidemic.