Truck drivers have an essential job in our economy today. Without their dedication and long hours of work, the world would be a very different place. Think about all the deliveries, shipments of food, medicines, and tons of products that need to be delivered across the state and across the country daily.
Despite the importance of every truck driver’s job, there are some serious health concerns that come with this line of work. Here are four of the most common issues that long haul drivers could possibly encounter.
Driving a big rig for hours at a time, on a daily basis, leaves very little time in the day to stretch, get exercise, and move. This sedentary lifestyle can cause some pretty serious injuries to the back, neck, hips, knees, and other joints in the body. Improper sitting positions for hours can cause strain on muscles and joints.
Avoid these types of injuries by sitting in a comfortable position and taking some simple steps to incorporate more movement into your daily routine. This could include stretching before starting a long trip, taking a walk, and taking breaks from driving at regular intervals that will allow your body to get refreshed. In addition, all drivers should get a regular check up at their doctor to discuss ways to improve mobility and exercise, even while on the road.
There is no question that being on the road for days and even weeks at a time can be a lonely life. This isolation can lead to mental health issues, especially when family and children are involved. Who wants to be away from their children and family for long stretches?
Family and friends can often miss spotting signs of depression and mental health issues when a trucker is gone for so many days. Unfortunately, problems with mental health can lead to other issues involving drugs or alcohol to numb the pain. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the signs of depression, talk to your primary care physician and seek help immediately.
Having a sedentary life is part of the problem in the trucking industry. Sitting too long means little-to-no exercise. Add this to meals on-the-go and you have a recipe for gaining weight.
Obesity comes with other issues that are related to the sedentary lifestyle and the addition of weight. Sleep apnea, heart issues, and diabetes are related to this issue as well.
Although it may be difficult on the road, try to add fruit to your daily meals, avoid fatty fast foods, limit sugary drinks, and attempt to add in some form of exercise after your day of driving is over.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that studies further predicted that over 70 percent of truck drivers smoke. Apart from that, being continuously exposed to diesel exhaust gas, truck driver lives are prone to deadly diseases.
Lung cancer is the most overlooked health issue out of the common truck driver health concerns. Though smoking may seem to help drivers stay stress-free, it also increases their chances of acquiring lung cancer.
To avoid this issue, stop smoking. This is easier said than done but try seeking help with nicotine products that can help you limit your intake. In addition, check your ventilation system in your cab.
Do you struggle with any of these issues as a truck driver? Talk to your medical professionals about ways you can improve your health and stay healthy as you work.