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Top 7 Health Issues That Truck Drivers Face
December 26, 2023

Top 7 Health Issues That Truck Drivers Face

We all know that driving a truck isn't the healthiest job. Long periods of time spent in a truck with no access to nutritious meals can regrettably result in a variety of health issues. High blood pressure, diabetes, sleep disturbances, heart issues, and other health problems can result from a combination of too much sitting, too little activity, and an unhealthy diet.

Due to the long hours on the road, many truckers are facing health issues. While the trucking industry has recently pushed to provide drivers with more resources and opportunities to be healthier on the road, it's still crucial to know what health problems truck drivers are prone to.

We've created a list of health issues that are typically associated with truck drivers.

Obesity

Truck drivers experience a variety of health issues as a result of their constant position. One of them is obesity. The body mass index is commonly used to define this health condition. Fast-food culture and sedentary lifestyles have a negative impact on general bodily metabolisms, posing serious health hazards. On-the-go consumption of ready-made fast food from boxes is not a healthy option. Without physical activity, the body will gain weight and become obese.

According to a CDC study, seven out of 10 truck drivers in the United States are over-weighted. The majority of them just ate at highway restaurants, where the food isn't as nutritious as home-cooked meals. Obesity also causes sleeplessness, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, among other problems.

Solution: Taking care of your health as a driver is unquestionably important. However, drivers must be mindful of their eating habits in order for this to occur. Read some of our tips on how to prepare healthy meals for truckers

Sleep apnea

This is a prevalent health problem among drivers, particularly smokers and obese persons. When the person is sleeping, they may be unable to breathe. Their tongue curls back, obstructing airflow. As a result, it may lead to insufficient rest, causing the body to become fatigued quickly. Loud snoring, mood swings, morning headaches, aggravation, depression, nervous sleep, anxiety, memory loss, etc., are some of the ways our bodies display the symptoms. 

The problem is so serious in certain countries that drivers with this condition are not permitted to drive. Sleep apnea has been related to smoking, obesity, and even genes, according to research.

Solutions:

  • Exercise.
  • If you must drink alcohol, do it in moderation.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Use a nasal decongestant or allergy medicine to relieve congestion.
  • Sleeping on your back is not a good idea.
  • Avoid taking sedatives such as anti-anxiety meds or sleeping pills.

Lung cancer

According to a recent study, 67 percent of long-haul truck drivers smoke. While smoking helps drivers stay stress-free, it also raises their risk of lung cancer. Even if a trucker does not smoke, exposure to gasoline fumes and other pollutants can cause lung cancer.

Truck drivers are regularly exposed to dangerous chemicals and this exposure can cause lung cancer or other chemical-induced chronic lung problems over time.

Solution:

  • Instead of smoking, use other stress-relieving techniques while driving.
  • Ensure that there is adequate air circulation in the driver's cabin.
  • Maintain vehicle smoke emission levels within the acceptable range.
  • Allowing others to smoke within the vehicle cabin is never a good idea.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar is abnormally high. Your main source of energy is blood glucose, which comes from the food you eat. Insulinexternal icon aids glucose absorption into your cells for energy consumption. Sometimes your body doesn't produce enough insulin, or it doesn't use it properly. Glucose remains in your circulation and does not reach your cells as a result.

Having too much glucose in your blood can lead to a variety of health issues, including:

  • blindness 
  • heart disease
  • amputations of the lower extremities

Solution: Making a few lifestyle adjustments, such as losing weight and being more physically active, may help you avoid major diabetes-related health consequences in the future. It's never too late to start anything new.

Hypertension

High blood pressure, often known as hypertension, occurs when your blood pressure increases and stays high for an extended period of time, potentially causing heart damage and other health issues. It can also increase your chance of heart disease and stroke, two of the most common causes of death in the US.

Truck drivers, on average, are more prone to hypertension than the average person, which can be caused by a variety of factors, including a high-salt diet. 

Solution: Making a deliberate effort to eat well, like many other things on this list, is the greatest way for drivers to avoid or at least control hypertension.

Musculoskeletal injuries

Musculoskeletal injuries are defined as any injury to the muscles, bones, nerves, ligaments, or tendons that causes discomfort. As a driver, you may not be able to flex your muscles as much as you would like due to limited cabin movement. Sitting in the same chair for long periods of time can cause neck and back issues.

Furthermore, due to overexertion, the body may suffer spasms. Ignoring these aches and pains might lead to chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Solution: 

  • Take proper breaks during your journey.
  • During your break, do some stretching exercises.
  • Consult a physician and receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Sleep disorder

Weather conditions and driving regular driveways are not always predictable. It is possible that drivers will be asked to push for extended periods of time with no defined schedule. Due to an irregular sleeping schedule, the body may become fatigued.

A traffic jam or inclement weather can cause drivers' entire day plans to be disrupted, forcing them to work late shifts. Managers also compel drivers to deliver the shipments regardless of external circumstances. This affects drivers' resting hours and causes them to work longer days.

Solution: Modern medicine, fortunately, provides drivers with a variety of options for getting a decent night's sleep while on the road. A CPAP machine or melatonin may help, depending on the condition, but the first step is always to see your doctor. You may also get some rest at different truck stops to fulfil your sleeping patterns.

Closing

Trucking is a respectable job, but it won't matter if you don't have good health. By following a few simple steps, you can avoid many of the health risks and challenges that truckers face:

  • Go for a lengthy stroll and stretch while you're waiting to be loaded.
  • Stock up on nutritious snacks. It's more convenient to go out and eat fast food, but it'll ruin your health. You'll be able to maintain a healthy weight if you eat healthier.
  • Seek help if you're stressed, anxious, or depressed. Checkups with your doctor on a regular basis can also help.

Remember to socialize. If you have a free moment, video chat with a friend and think of methods to pass the time. You'll be surprised at how tension and loneliness can be alleviated by having a little bit of fun.



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Author: Road Legends

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