Driver health is a continual point of concern in the trucking industry, and there is a constant need to address improving the health of professional drivers. Sitting for long periods of time coupled with lack of regular exercise, stress, smoking, and poor diet choices put truck drivers more at risk than the average North American for a number of health problems. These health problems can range from sleep apnea, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and chronic pain due to injuries.

The FMCSA assess “driver fitness” on a regular basis to ensure that drivers are physically qualified to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle, and they are medically examined every two years to maintain their licenses. In general, commercial drivers cannot be licensed if they have severe high blood pressure or severe heart conditions.

Some advice to ensure you are in tip-top-trucking shape!!:

Exercise – although exercising while on the road is often difficult, there are some things a driver can do to get daily exercise into their life. 30 mins to 1 hour a day is ideal; keep a set of dumbbells in your sleeper and use them regularly, or try doing laps around your 18 wheeler. Walking or running 32 times around your 18 wheeler will equal 1 mile!!!

Quit Smoking – we all know that smoking is bad and significantly increases your risk for cancer and heart disease. However, it may be a hard habit to kick for many drivers as they suffer from boredom from sitting for long periods of time and stress from tight schedules, both of which can be alleviated by a habit such as smoking. The consequences of such a habit are severe; but benefits of quitting are numerous – better health and more money in your pocket top our list!!! There are many tools available to help in quitting – here are a few links to help: How to quit smoking for truck drivers, and American Lung Association’s How to Quit Smoking Guide.

Improve your Diet and Food Choices – healthy eating while on the road is a huge challenge. Tight schedules and typical truck stop menus contribute to a poor diet. However, many truck stops have recognized the need to improve truck driver health and are joining in! Salad bars and other healthy options are appearing at more and more stops throughout North America. And remember, we specialize in refrigerated produce transportation; fruits and veggies are always a healthy bet, and are becoming more and more available in truck stops!

Injury Prevention – back injuries and sprains are a common report among drivers. Many drivers assist in loading and unloading the goods they carry, and this increases the risk of back injuries. Remember to always lift with your legs and be aware of dangers that exist around loading and unloading docks. Another factor in injury prevention: seatbelt use. Remember to buckle up as it is the law!!!!

There are many connections between being a healthy individual and a safe driver. Taking part in the actions above can do wonders to improve both the length and quality of life! So, remember, listen to the warning signs, visit the doctor regularly, and commit to a healthier road ahead!!!

Stay tuned for more healthy trucking tips!

A Healthy Life for a Longer Road Ahead was last modified: by