The trucking lifestyle can easily lead to poor health. Conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and more are prevalent in the industry. As of late, truckers are looking to change the statistics and live longer, healthier lives.
Why is it hard for truckers to stay healthy?
It’s not hard to see why staying healthy on the road can be a challenge: long hours sitting, limited time for being active, lack of healthy food choices… the list goes on. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that truckers have the highest obesity prevalence compared to other occupations. They’re also at a higher risk of developing diabetes compared to the general population. However, there’s been an industry-wide shift toward healthier lifestyles.
Who’s driving the push for better overall health?
Transportation companies, healthcare providers, and individual truckers are all working to be a part of creating healthier futures for truckers. Here’s how:
Employers and Transportation Companies
Wellness in the workplace has been a growing trend, but it’s not so easily implemented in the trucking industry compared others. Drivers can travel cross-country daily, making gym memberships, fitness classes participation, or healthcare meetings nearly impossible to achieve. Instead, trucking companies are trying new methods that are more suitable for their drivers’ lifestyles. These new methods include online fitness program subscriptions, connecting trainers and health coaches via phone and video call, and smartphone applications that can track diet and exercise.
Healthcare Providers and Insurance Companies
Keeping drivers in good health is good for everyone on the road. Having more energy means that you’re less likely to become drowsy, which in turn can prevent potential accidents. You can check out our other tips on fighting fatigue here. Healthcare providers as well as insurance companies are beginning to reach out to drivers with resources aimed at improving health.
The Truckers Themselves
The only way to really improve a trucker’s health is if they get involved — and not surprisingly, truckers have been the biggest drivers in the trend. Here are just a few examples of how they’re incorporating health into their lives on the road:
Short Exercise Breaks
Taking 2-3 short breaks throughout the day to get in quick, high-intensity exercise can boost your metabolism. These exercise breaks can be as simple as jogging around the truck stop, lifting weights, or doing jumping jacks.
Choosing Healthy Options
Food options on the road are already limited, but healthy options are even harder to find. With a little education, however, drivers can make better choices when ordering their lunches. Did you know that a 6 inch sub with double meat has more protein and less carbs than a 12 inch sub? Skipping buns on burgers, substituting salads or veggies in place of fries, and going easy on salad or sandwich dressing are all small choices that can turn your fast-food meal into a healthier choice.
Some drivers are skipping the fast food all together and making their own kitchens in their cabs. Portable mini-fridges and basic cooking facilities designed for the road means using healthy ingredients from grocery stores instead and making filling, nutritious meals instead of settling for fast food.