Truck drivers don’t have it easy. Aside from being away from home for long periods of time and often a rigorous workload, they are also more prone to various health hazards. This is because the nature of the work can make it difficult for drivers to live a healthy lifestyle. They sit for long hours, taking a break only to eat and sleep, and can find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet. In this post, we share some truck driver health tips and how they can start the new year healthy.
Common Health Hazards of Truck Driving
Truck drivers have a sedentary lifestyle. It is this very lifestyle that can cause health hazards in the long run. Not only that, but an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise contribute to health issues.
Here are some of the common health hazards encountered by workers in this profession:
- Obesity – most of the time it starts with a beer belly, but later on, due to the consumption of unhealthy foods, becoming obese is a high probability;
- Lung diseases – can be caused by increased inhalation of car and road fumes;
- Back injuries – prolonged sitting in a cramped space hinders movement and leads to poor posture;
- High blood pressure – eating unhealthy foods not only causes obesity, but it can also lead to spikes in blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases;
- Sleep apnea – this condition is often caused by obesity;
- Depression – truck drivers are prone to depression caused by stress, fatigue, and being alone during long hours of travel
Health Tips for Truck Drivers
As a truck driver, you need to stay healthy not just for your career, but most importantly to take care of yourself so you can live a longer, fuller life. While it may seem challenging at first, it’s possible to lead a healthier lifestyle while still doing the job you love. Here are some health tips for starters:
- Start incorporating healthy food choices – sometimes it can be hard to find healthy food options on the road, but when you come across pit-stops with healthy foods and snacks, make sure you stock up. Have a Esky or cooler fridge in your cab to store your meals, and always have a big bottle of cold water handy so you’re not tempted to quench your thirst with soft drinks or caffeinated drinks.
- Stay hydrated – not only can dehydration cause headaches and other ailments, but it can also affect vision and concentration, causing dizziness and fatigue. Make sure you stay hydrated, keep a big bottle of water close by and sip frequently throughout the trip.
- Exercise – be sure to stretch and get in a walk before the long drive ahead. At every opportunity, try to stretch your legs or even jog on the spot. Even just 15 minutes of walking around can do you a lot of good.
- Get some sleep – since each trip varies, it’s best to familiarise yourself with the route beforehand, note truck stops, and plan your sleep schedule. If you’re on the road and you feel sleepy, stop, revive and survive as the mantra goes.
- Entertain yourself – to avoid getting lonely and depressed while driving for extended periods, try to have (non-distracting) things to entertain yourself. Listen to an audio book, podcast, or your favourite music.
Remember, the New Year brings another opportunity to reassess and set yourself new goals. If there’s a will, there’s always a way!