For truck drivers, sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle for long stretches of time can put a strain on their overall health.
According to a survey of 1,700 long-haul truck drivers conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, those questioned showed an increase of chronic disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.
To help drivers combat these issues, take a look at tips below that can help drivers improve their overall health.
- Plan Ahead for Healthy Meals/Snacks: When drivers are on the road and relying on convenience to eat their next meal, they could end up eating a lot of unhealthy food from fast food restaurants and gas stations. To combat this issue, truck drivers can plan ahead and pack healthier meal options and snacks to keep in their vehicle. This ensures they will have healthy food available when they need it.
- Drink Plenty of Water: Drivers need to keep hydrated while behind the wheel. Keeping bottles of water in their vehicle will help ensure they continue to drink plenty of healthy liquids. This will also help curb their urge to drink soda and other types of sugary, high-calorie beverages.
- Avoid Caffeine, Sugar: When drivers need to stay awake and alert behind the wheel they might be tempted to binge on caffeinated drinks and sugary snacks. However, consuming too much sugar and caffeine can be harmful to their overall health. Instead, drivers need to make sure they are getting plenty of rest.
- Sleep: Getting enough sleep is important to keep our bodies – and our minds – functioning properly. Drivers’ sleep schedules may be inconsistent depending on their routes, so it’s important for them to make time to get plenty of rest on the road.
- Combat Stress: Dealing with traffic, other drivers and weather issues can cause drivers to suffer from high levels of stress. This can have harmful impacts to their well-being – including their blood pressure, heart disease and mental health. To better cope with stress drivers should practice techniques to calm their mind and reduce anxiety.
- Stretch: Sitting in vehicles for long periods of time can take a toll on drivers’ physical health. To protect their backs, legs and other muscles, drivers should schedule time to stretch throughout their routes. Doing yoga stretches at pit stops can help keep their muscles loosened to prevent injuries.
- Fit in Workouts: To contend with obesity and hours of inactivity each day, drivers should schedule time to exercise regularly. This can be done during breaks or between routes. Keeping active will help combat health issues and keep drivers in good shape – mentally and physically.
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