Truck Drivers Health
Truck drivers are at more risk than the average Americans for a number of health problems. Obesity, is easily the most commonly occurring and preventable cause of disease. Many don't bother to wear seat belts. About one in four has sleep apnea (a disorder that interferes with breathing during sleep and can leave one groggy and exhausted). Half of them smoke, eat a lot of fast food, sit for long periods and don't exercise. These habits can fuel high blood pressure and chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Many truckers unload the goods they carry, risking back injuries. Truck drivers also report more injuries, such as sprains, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is considering tightening its rules for conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure. And many companies are stepping up their own efforts at improving health.
Drivers are tested every two years to maintain their licenses, which are issued by states. Waivers can be granted, but generally commercial drivers can't be licensed if they have severe high blood pressure or severe heart conditions. We at TheTruckersPlace.com are trying to educate truckers to the linkage between being a healthy person and a safe driver. We also request the trucking companies to do more to foster better health among their employees, to reduce healthcare costs.
Some trucking companies have started initiatives such as :
- Stationing nurses at their facility and they encourage drivers to get blood pressure and cholesterol checks.
- Replacing soda in the vending machines at the facility with tea, water and diet drinks.
- Offering financial incentives for weight watches/loss series.
- Initiating a wellness program.
- Offering the services of Physical therapists to follow up with drivers and to address problems before they become severe.
- Providing special air masks to help drivers who have apnea to improve sleep conditions.
Drivers can start initiatives like:
- Working out at loading stations.
- cooking for themselves.
- Walking laps around their rigs (32 times around a 18-wheeler is a mile).
- Eating cereal and cooking chicken breasts on an electric grill in the cab.
- Giving up smoking.
- Exercising, visiting a doctor regularly and eating right. Medical research has shown that physical activity can reduce the risk of many diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, and breast and colon cancer, as well as reduce the risk of psychological illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and stress.
- Not giving excuses ("I get off work at 3 in the morning; you want me to go to Gym and do what?").
Have a question for Dr.B - click here to ask a question.>