If you work at a desk, find ways to build physical activity into your daily schedule. Set a timer to go off every 30 minutes, and take a short walk, even if it’s just up and down the hall. Do muscle stretches in your seat. Spend part of your lunch break walking up and down a staircase to get your heart rate up. Ask the boss about a standing or treadmill desk, if that’s an option at your office.
Always have the tools on hand to treat a low-blood sugar event. Store them in your desk, keep a special bag nearby, or ask your employer for a place to stash your supplies. Add a note that explains how your gear works, in case you can’t give directions.
Ask your doctor when you should test your blood sugar every day. It’s another good reason to get your employer up to speed: You may need to ask for a special time and space to do it.
A gadget called a continuous glucose monitor can check your blood sugar all day. A doctor sticks a tiny sensor under your skin. You carry the attached monitor in your pocket or wear it on a belt clip. It tests your sugar levels automatically and alerts you if they’re too high or low. This might be a good choice if you have a busy job that makes it hard to stop and test.
Diabetes means you’ll have more doctor’s appointments on your calendar than many of your co-workers. When you can, get creative with your timing: Plan doctor visits near a holiday when workdays are slower. Ask for a slot on your way out of town for vacation, when you’re already scheduled to be out of the office.
Keep your diabetes health care team in the loop so they can help troubleshoot workplace issues when they arise. Diabetes educators are a great resource for tricks and tips on the job to help you thrive.
Whether you’re open about your diabetes or you want to keep it private, it can come up out of the blue and put you on the spot. Plan what to say ahead of time so you’ll feel more in control. Try something short and to the point: “I have type 1 diabetes. I have to watch what I eat and take medicine to control it.”
Do you struggle with your health during certain times of the year, month, or day? Do you travel for work? Does your job come with a stressful season? Talk to a doctor or diabetes educator about things that make it hard to take good care of yourself. They can help you figure out how to head off problems.