According to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 70% of commercial drivers are suffering from obesity.
Obesity leads to health-related problems including sleep apnea, diabetes, fatigue, and high blood pressure. Life on the road makes it difficult for commercial drivers to eat healthily and take care of themselves.
Commercial driving is one of the toughest jobs, and drivers are more prone to health-related issues than people in other occupations. According to a survey by FMCSA, truck drivers are two times more likely to suffer from obesity than the average working adult in America. Moreover, 14 percent of truck drivers have self-reported diabetes, and 38 percent of them aren’t covered by any health care insurance.
The long hours spent on the road often lead to health conditions like:
- Type-2 diabetes
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Extreme fatigue
Fortunately, there is hope, and these issues can be prevented in time. In this blog post, we share a few tips to help truck drivers stay healthy.
The same survey conducted by FMCSA reveals that approximately 51 percent of truck drivers smoke cigarettes.
Since commercial driving can be a hectic and stressful job, drivers often resort to smoking to take the edge off. However, smoking does more harm than good.
If you want to get healthy, you’ll have to quit smoking. During your breaks, instead of smoking, do a short exercise routine to take off the stress. You can do many workouts quickly, without the need of any fitness equipment. Even a brisk walk would help your body a lot.
Whatever healthy ways you can ude to keep yourself away from smoking would be a recommended option at this stage.
Say no to candy bars and soda
The lack of easy access to inexpensive and healthy food is one of the biggest challenges drivers face. Truck stops have lots of items with high calorie and high sugar content, such as candy bars and sodas. Try to stay away from these.
These items are high in calories and sugar, which only deteriorate your health and increase the probability of obesity and diabetes.
Never skip your breakfast
Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between obesity and skipping breakfasts. Approximately 22 percent of people who skip their breakfasts get obese at some stage of their lives.
Eating breakfast jump-starts your day. If you’re a commercial driver, it becomes all the more important for you to consume a healthy breakfast that can fuel you for the rest of the day. You require energy to maintain the required level of attention and to keep fatigue and drowsiness at bay.
Start your day with exercise
Starting your day by exercising is a healthy and recommended practice. Not only do physical activities give you the perfect, energetic start you need for the day, they also prevent numerous diseases and set you toward a healthier lifestyle.
You may not even need to go to the gym. There are several exercises that you can do without any professional equipment.
Establish a 30-minute workout at the start of the day to keep yourself fit and healthy.
Pack your meals
As mentioned earlier, finding inexpensive and healthy food is one of the biggest challenges faced by commercial drivers on the road.
Instead of running out of options and buying junk food at truck stops, it is highly recommended to pack your own meals. Packing your food would help you keep track of how much you exactly eat every day. Since it’s a routine, it will help you be consistent.
More importantly, packing meals ensure that you don’t eat junk food that has too many calories and sugar in it. There are numerous online resources that provide meal plans for free. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can eat:
- Breakfast: whole-wheat bread toast with peanut butter, sliced bananas, and chia seeds
- Snacks: apples, roasted almond nuts, and baked sweet potatoes
- Lunch: grilled chicken (preferably breast) with broiled french beans and potatoes, and vinaigrette
Making sure that you’re fit and healthy is the first step toward a long and fulfilling career. As commercial drivers have to be very responsible and alert on the road, a healthy mind and a healthy body are essential aspects of the trucking job.
If you eat the right food that gives you energy, you won’t feel fatigued or drowsy while on the road, which is crucial for avoiding accidents. The core objective of the FMCSA’s ELD mandate is also to combat driver fatigue and reduce road accidents.
Driving within your Hours of Service (HOS) limits is another way to avoid driver fatigue. Download the Motive free elog app on Android or iOS to make sure you never go beyond the HOS limit. With alerts for upcoming HOS violations and e-logging your Hours of Service, you can focus on what you do best — driving.
If you have any questions regarding the Motive free mobile elog app or the Motive ELD solution, give us a call at 855-434-3465 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.