The occupation of truck driving can be quite demanding when compared to other types of jobs. To help you keep a long, healthy truck driving career, be aware of these four health risks that truck drivers should avoid and take measures to prevent them.
Health Risk #1: Long Hours of Sitting:
People with desk jobs can get up and walk around the office every few hours, but truck drivers don’t have that luxury. Research has found that sitting for long hours can be as bad for your health as smoking. Even worse, sedentary adults have about a 125% increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other serious health problems.
To offset this risk, find a way to move more throughout the day. When you stop for meals or to refuel, take time to get some exercise or take a short walk to get your muscles moving and stimulate your heart rate. When you plan your trips, schedule time to get out of the truck and get some exercise. This might seem unrealistic, but your health is of utmost importance. A little exercise can have a big effect on your health. If you don’t look out for your own health, who will?
Health Risk #2: Poor Diet:
Fast food is cheap, tasty, filling, and easy to eat while on the road – it is also very bad for you. When you’re driving, the temptation to grab a quick meal of a soft drink, fries, and burger can feel overwhelming. But here’s the reality; in the short run, fast food will make you feel tired and sluggish, and in the long run can make you overweight, increase your risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer. Many restaurants have healthy alternatives to the usual fried food they offer. Give it a try! Who knows, you may find a meal combination that satisfies your hunger and helps maintain your health! Also, instead of taking chips to snack on, pack a variety of fruits or vegetables. Talk with your doctor about what foods are best for you to take on the road. You’ll feel better for it.
Health Risk #3: Sleep Deprivation:
To be healthy and safe on the road, you need to get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can be damaging to your immune system, cause stress to your body, and impairs your ability to think and react normally. Don’t let the temptation to make a few extra dollars convince you into driving drowsy; excessive fatigue makes you a dangerous driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each year over 100,000 crashes are the direct result of drowsy driving. You don’t want to be responsible for hurting someone because you made the bad decision of driving when overly drowsy.
Health Risk #4: Obesity:
Many truck drivers suffer from obesity. It’s estimated that over half of truck drivers are obese and 86% of truck drivers overweight. In truck drivers, obesity is the result of the previous three health. You can fight obesity by adding exercise to your daily routine, eating right, and getting enough sleep. Of course, if it were as easy as it sounds, no one would have weight problems. However, if you want a to live a longer life, you should make it a priority to live a healthy life.
See Your Doctor:
To address these four health risks that truck drivers should avoid, enlist the help of your family physician and medical team. Your doctor can evaluate your current health and, if required, refer you to members of their staff to help you develop and implement a plan to improve it. Whatever you do, make your health a priority. You’ll be glad you did!