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Robyn Whalen
  November 7, 2019

13 Engaging Ways to Promote American Diabetes Month at Work

It’s American Diabetes Month.

And it’s time for employers to raise awareness. Why?

The cost to American employers when it comes to diabetes is about 57 million unplanned sick days and $20 billion each year. With those staggering numbers, it’s becoming clear diabetes is a health concern that must be addressed in workplaces.

There’s no better time than now to raise awareness about this disease and its health impacts when so many free resources are available.

Plus, awareness events can inspire unhealthy employees to make a change by encouraging healthier behaviors.

Ready to educate your employees about diabetes in a memorable way that doesn’t break the bank?

Read on to learn how to spread American Diabetes Month awareness.

Workplace American Diabetes Month Activities and Ideas

More than 100 million Americans live with diabetes or prediabetes, which impacts the body’s ability to properly regulate and produce insulin.

This year alone, 1.5 million people will be diagnosed with diabetes.

Thankfully, it’s a disease that can be managed. It can also be prevented in some cases, too.

Throughout November, get creative with how you educate your employees. The more engaging your programs and educational materials are, the more likely they’ll be inspired to make health changes.

Here are 13 ideas to get you started: 

1. Recognize World Diabetes Day

November 14 is World Diabetes Day, a perfect opportunity to get the whole office involved. Encourage employees to wear blue, the official color for diabetes awareness. Raffle off prizes like pedometers, t-shirts, and cookbooks to your staff. Decorate your hallways with big banners for employees to sign and pledge to live healthier lives.

2. Host a Lunch and Learn

Consider bringing in a local doctor, nutritionist, or dietician to discuss the importance of eating well-balanced meals and exercise during a lunch and learn event. A physician can also offer insight to employers (and employees) on what to do if a diabetic is having issues regulating their sugar and gets ill at work.

3. Host a 50/50 Raffle

This awareness event is a simple way to get the whole office involved while giving back to the diabetic community. Sell tickets throughout the month and announce the winner on Dec. 1. Split the proceeds with the winner and a diabetes-related charity.

4. Cater a Diabetic-Friendly Luncheon

One of the biggest challenges new diabetics face is learning how to cook nutritious meals that are still exciting to their taste buds. Look up a local farm-to-table restaurant or a vegetarian/vegan restaurant to cater your meal. Share resources on how to eat as a diabetic, too.

5. Send Out Automated Wellness Reminders

If you haven’t set up your automated wellness reminders for 2020, now is the time to do it. Put it on your calendar to do it once a quarter to encourage employees who may be at risk for diabetes to get screened. Scheduling an office wide biometric screening during this month is another great way for your team to get ahead of health issues like diabetes.

6. Share Risk Assessment Tools

For employees who aren’t ready to face the doc just yet, tools and resources can encourage them to start scheduling the right appointments. Since almost 90% of Americans who have prediabetes don’t know it, screening can be critical to catching it before it gets out of control. Share the American Diabetes Association’s diabetes risk test. It takes just 1 minute to do!

7. Raffle Off a Cookbook

Research shows that plant-based diets may contribute to lowering type 2 diabetes risk. Consider raffling off a vegan or vegetarian cookbook filled with healthy recipes to one of your employees. If you have the budget, throw in a grocery gift card, too.

8. Host a Blue Fashion Show

Have employees run the catwalk in an office fashion show wearing their best blue attire. Each model can hold a sign with a diabetes fact as they strut down the walkway. To encourage office participation, consider having the audience vote for their favorite model by increasing or decreasing the volume of their clapping.

9. Create a Bulletin Board

Post diabetes fact sheets and decorate a hallway bulletin board with blue circles — the official symbol fordiabetes awareness — for all to see. This is a great place to post any details about local resources, too.

10. Wear Blue Circles

Consider giving your employees little blue pins or buttons to wear throughout the month of November, along with a fact sheet about preventing type 2 diabetes.

11. Share American Diabetes Association Blog Posts

This blog is full of informational pieces for diabetics to learn more about managing their disease. From learning what to eat to personal diabetic stories, the American Diabetes Association blog is a great resource to share with employees.

12. Remind Employees of Their Rights

Living with diabetes comes with its own set of challenges that employees and employers might not be aware of. During this month, it’s a good idea to review diabetic accommodation rights and notify employees of these. If anyone is trying to hide their diabetes due to fear of discrimination, it can alleviate anxiety and encourage honesty.

13. Create a Diabetes Awareness Campaign

Planning large wellness initiatives takes time. Consider mapping out your wellness campaigns for 2020 now and consider making diabetes a prime topic for next year’s health events. Your wellness committee can cover an array of topics, including diet, exercise, sugar intake, and more.

Educate Your Team About Diabetes

There’s no shortage of ways to educate your employees during American Diabetes Month.

It’s always easier to retain important information when it’s shared in a fun, engaging way. The more excitement you bring to your awareness events, the more likely employees will remember it (and use it!) later.

You can get started as soon as today, too.

Here are a few facts to share via email or social media:
  • 25 million Americans have type 1 diabetes
  • Type 1 diabetes can occur at every age
  • Diabetes is a manageable condition
  • Type 2 diabetes can be managed by diet
  • Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed

As you host events throughout the month, use #CountMeInADA to show your support for the American Diabetes Association and to encourage other companies with your efforts.

These creative ideas are easy to implement and are well worth the time investment. Especially when you consider it could potentially change the health of your employees — diabetic or not.

Which idea or activity is your favorite? What do you plan to do to promote American Diabetes Month?

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