What kind of job/career is good for managing diabetes and overall health?

By jason123 Latest Reply 2010-10-06 12:57:52 -0500
Started 2010-10-01 06:33:13 -0500

We all been told when we were young that we should get a sit-down job, a desk job, a job that pays for our brain rather than labor…that may be true 50 years ago in our parents generation, is it still true today? I read somewhere that doing anything sitting down for an extend period of time is bad for one's health, that include watching TV, playing video game, reading, what about our sit down jobs? and of course sitting in front of a computer…I better get up and catch my train…

10 replies

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2010-10-06 12:57:52 -0500 Report


What a great question! I am not a physician but I counsel clients who are facing chronic illness and I teach career counseling to students who are training to become counselors.

I would recommend looking at your future with a realistic attitude, sure, but also with a sense of what is possible. In other words, I would encourage you not to put an electiric fence around your future and tell yourself what you have to do and what can't do. Don't make this decision all about limitations and avoidance.

Have an open mind. Let yourself explore what you enjoy, what is important to you, what makes you happy, what makes you feel connected to the world around you and to something greater than you, what you love so much that when you are doing it, you totally lose track of time. This is your starting place for making a job or a career decision.

With that vision in mind, then start to look at how you can live your dream. What kinds of job settings are available in which you can live out your dream? What training do you need?

And then... what is realistic in terms of your health? What kinds of settings and activities will support maintaining your health and staying compliant with your treatment? What kinds of settings and situations won't?

These are considerations to consider, but bring them in as you fine-tune your options.

What I am encouraging you to do is to stay open to the possibilities -- all of them. Being happy and fulfilled in your work -- and in the other aspects of your life -- promotes overall well-being. You are a multi-faceted person, and your diabeties doesn't define you, and you don't have to let it define your career.

As they say in Star Trek: Live long and prosper!

jason123 2010-10-01 09:29:43 -0500 Report

I think the best kind of job for one's health is one that requires you to be on your feet and constantly move around, a job like mail carrier…

If there is a best, there has to be a worst. Sitting behind a desk and constantly worry about things beyond one's control will be one…

Money is not taking into consideration here, only health…Some wise man once said at the end the only wealth one has is his health..

kdroberts 2010-10-01 09:39:47 -0500 Report

I disagree. The best job is one you enjoy so you don't get stressed out, depressed, frustrated and are able and wanting to do activities once you finish rather than slump in front to the TV with comfort food and have a pity party.

If you are enjoying what you do, sitting behind a desk can give you far more health benefits overall than being a depressed and unhappy mail carrier.

jason123 2010-10-01 11:12:39 -0500 Report

If a job you enjoy will get you to a gym after work, you are definately right. If it get you to go out and eat all kinds of unhealthy food, partying, drinking, and no exercise, it will just give you a big surprise at the doctor's office…

On the other hand, I know many people who have un-exciting or even stressful jobs/lives always eat healthy and make time to exercise regularly… and they are extremely healthy.

I think at the end of the day what is more important than how exciting the day was is did you burn off those calories and sugars (for us diabetics)? Mail carriers get paid to exercise and that is definately a leg up on the rest of us…as long as they live responsibly for rest of their 16 hours…

kdroberts 2010-10-01 11:24:29 -0500 Report

It's not that you have to be in an exciting job, just one that you enjoy that puts you in a good frame of mind. If all you want to do when you get home is sit on the couch and watch TV and eat junk because you hate your job then it isn't going to matter how much exercise you did during the day.

I don't know what the mail carriers around you do but I rarely see one out of their truck and when they do do it's usually no more than a few yards. They have the steering wheel on the opposite side of the truck so they don't have to get out, just lean far enough to reach the mailbox.

jason123 2010-10-01 12:53:33 -0500 Report

You can enjoy your job and have a good frame of mind to go to a gym or a Pizza Hut; when people have a bad day, some will go to gym to hit some bags and some will go home and 'slump in front to the TV with comfort food and have a pity party'. Different people will react differently to the same situation, but I doubt they will get the same report card.

I guess I forgot some people live in rural area. I was certainly referring to mail carriers that walk from house to house…I know a man in real life who lived as a type 1 diabetics for almost 70 years, he is now either 87 or 88…before he retired, he was a mail carrier on long island…

kdroberts 2010-10-01 13:14:37 -0500 Report

It's mot just rural areas. My neighborhood is far from rural but the mailman pulls up to communal mailboxes, walks 2 yards, drops off the mail, walks 2 yards and starts back up again. He drives round the streets, stops at each mail box, leans out of the truck and delivers the mail. The only time ever really ever seen a mailman walk over the last 7 years is my old neighborhood were they would park and do blocks of houses. Even then it was only about 100 yards and 2 blocks of houses 23 houses each.

I know of construction workers who are hugely active all day but have horrible blood sugar control and I know of people who are in an office 14 hours a day with great control. The point is that the job is largely irrelevant, it's what you do throughout the day that is and being in a good frame of mind is likely to help you make good choices compared to being depressed all the time.

GabbyPA 2010-10-01 08:11:29 -0500 Report

As a diabetic things are a little different. But I have to say that getting paid for our brains instead of our brawn has taken a toll on our health as a nation. If we work all day at a desk (which I have done most of my life) it does make us inclined to many health risks if we are not active outside of the workplace.

As a diabetic, you have to monitor your activity much more and a hard labor job may not be the best choice. However, that doesn't mean that you are stuck at a desk job. You just have to work out how you are going to monitor your condition in physical labor situations. You may find that the additional exercise helps your control more than any pill ever will. There are many jobs that employers will not hire a diabetic for, but there are plenty out there that will.

So if you are getting paid for your brain. Make sure you have a good active life otherwise. I enjoy camping and being outdoors in our garden. Now that the weather is starting to cool (ever so slightly!) It is more comfortable to be outside and doing the things I love.

jason123 2010-10-01 13:24:32 -0500 Report

Thanks Gabby for your take on this. I think by next generation there could be a complete mentality change on this 'desk job' thing. Maybe in the future 'desk job' worker will get hazardous pay lol…How many construction worker still break their back at the age of 50? Don't know about you, but every time I drive past by a 'road work ahead' sign, all I ever saw was a bunch of fat construction workers standing around eating sandwiches lol..

GabbyPA 2010-10-02 13:37:06 -0500 Report

Hazard pay, you might be right on there! The thing is that our bodies were made to move. So if you work all day at a computer, then make sure you enjoy it and then spend time with real flesh and blood people...go have some fun and stay active. We are all different and the activity of our lives will balance out if we are healthy in our food choices and even in our spiritual choices. Balance is the real key. When we are happy in our lives, many of those other things find a good place of balance in our lives as well. KD is right about the liking what you do. That makes a HUGE difference. I love what I do, it doesn't make me much money at all, but that's okay. When money isn't the focus, it's amazing how happy you can be with just a little.

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