Health is a major concern that truck drivers and their respective families have about the trucking lifestyle. With hours spent on the road, the idea of maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be difficult when your mind is occupied by various sources of stress that accompany the job. With that being said, it can be difficult to keep track of what can go wrong with your health. Here at AllTruckJobs, we have compiled a list of five common truck driver health concerns and what you can do to combat these problems. So sit back and learn how you can start leading a healthy lifestyle for a life on the road.
Five Common Truck Driver Health Concerns
Physical Health Issues
Unfortunately, truck drivers are prone to obesity. In fact, studies show that about 50% of truck drivers in the United States are obese while 73% are overweight. The main causes of obesity in the trucking industry can be traced to the lack of nutrition and exercise that is accompanied by the trucking lifestyle. When you are working long hours driving long distances, a lack of exercise, sleep, and healthy eating all contribute to causing obesity. Obesity is a big problem in the American population. As a matter of fact, obesity can cause additional health concerns such as type 2 diabetes, sleeping disorders, and heart diseases.
To combat this, make time to cook healthy meals. Meal planning is an easy method to reduce stress on deciding what to eat while also helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Avoid fatty food that can clog your arteries and increase your cholesterol level. Incorporate a workout schedule into your routine for a boost of energy throughout your day. It can be difficult to find the time and place to exercise when you are on the road; however, there are plenty of exercises that you can do such as jogging or utilizing dumbbells while on the road.
2. Lung Cancer
Did you know that smoking contributes to your chances of obtaining heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, as well as a stroke? As a matter of fact, about 60% of truck drivers in the country engage in a smoking habit. Among the common truck driver health concerns that are on this list, lung cancer is one of the most overlooked health issues. When smoking becomes an everyday habit for truck drivers, they can gradually contribute to the development of lung cancer. However, inhaling diesel fumes and other toxic chemicals can also increase your chance of lung cancer.
To prevent this, give up smoking and routinely check your ventilation systems to ensure that they are properly working. Minimizing your exposure to these fumes are integral to preventing lung cancer.
3. Musculoskeletal Injuries
The constant process of loading and unloading cargo in addition to sitting in your truck for hours on end can cause musculoskeletal injuries. Improper sitting positions can cause strains on your body causing back and neck injuries. Overexertion of your body can cause aches and pains, which can lead to further musculoskeletal injuries.
Avoid these injuries by adjusting your seating position and being conscious of it. Likewise, implement exercising into your daily routine to loosen your body to prevent stiffness. Make sure that you attend a routine check-up with your doctor to ensure that you have not acquired any injuries. After all, prevention is the number one top solution to solving common truck driver health concerns.
Mental Health Issues
Stress is a common health concern for truck drivers in the trucking industry. In the trucking lifestyle, stress can be caused by lack of sleep, isolation, and other health concerns that you might be suffering from. Stress can cause sleep deprivation, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and weight shifts, so it is important to manage and minimize your stress levels.
To prevent and reduce your stress levels, strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle of healthy eating and daily exercise. In addition, make sure that you are getting enough sleep to prevent sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea and driver’s fatigue.
5. Depression & Isolation
A life on the road can take a toll on your mental health with loneliness being one of the top culprits of mental illnesses in truck driving. If you are suffering from depression, focusing on other aspects of your life will be difficult, especially for someone with a trucking lifestyle. An important tip to solve this problem is to recognize and acknowledge your problems.
An important tip to solve this problem is to recognize and acknowledge your problems. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Seek help if necessary and make sure that you are working towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle. After all, a healthy mind is a healthy body and vice versa.