Long trips on the road coupled with high levels of stress can affect the health of truckers. A study shows that there’s a 50% higher occurrence of diabetes in truck drivers than the national average. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in the United States, approximately 9.4% of the population has diabetes, and for truckers, the number is 14%.
While figuring out the reason behind it, Physicians said truck drivers carry more risk factors like smoking, lack of exercise, and a high-calorie diet. Moreover, almost 70% of truck drivers are suffering from obesity, and surprisingly it is more than twice the nation’s average.
But why do these reasons occur?
The truth is that most truck drivers spend the majority of their time engaging in sedentary activities. For example, they spend hours at a time sitting in the same seat, which leaves little additional time for exercise and other health-conscious practices. Another major contributor to the risk of diabetes is a poor diet; with so much time spent on the road, most of the food that truck drivers consume is high in calories and low in nutritional value.
Diabetes is progressive when the symptoms worsen; the disease causes more harm to the body, and not only this, for the drivers, it could lead to losing their jobs. Truck drivers could lose their ability to drive if they require insulin to manage their disease.
The great news is that there are many ways that truck drivers can combat the risks of their profession. All it takes is a fair amount of planning, a commitment to their health, and a motivation to stay as active as possible.
How Truck Drivers Can Stay Active
It is no secret that sitting for prolonged periods of time is detrimental to your health, just like poor sleeping habits and smoking. Although most truck drivers are at the mercy of the rules set by their employer regarding breaks and downtime, there are still many ways that they can incorporate more physical activity into their lives.
While long hours are spent sitting in traffic and driving down, highways leave little desire or time to do anything other than relaxing in front of the tv while on and off the job. A little physical activity goes a long way for your health! Take a look at the suggestions below to understand better how you can keep diabetes and other health-related problems at bay.
● Aerobic exercise includes workouts and practices that put your body into motion. Stretching, Pilates, and yoga are not only great for working out tight muscles, but they also provide necessary mobility and physical activity.
● Walking is another low-impact way to include more movement into your life. One of the greatest benefits associated with walking is that it helps to keep your circulation and blood-related health in good shape. This is especially important for those who spend a great deal of time sitting, as this is a contributing factor to blood clots.
● Weight training is excellent for the bones and muscles! It is also easy to keep a few weights in the truck to sneak in a few sets on the road.
Choosing The Right Snack
Diet plays a significant role in our overall health; this is why it is so important to ensure that truck drivers are getting the proper nutrition while on the road. Fried and processed foods are not just contributors to obesity, but they also cause inflammation in the body. The next time you pack for a road trip or drop into a convenience store, consider picking up a few of these healthy options.
● Fruit is easy, accessible, and provides a great deal of nutritional value, such as antioxidants.
● Nuts help to keep you full while satisfying the craving for something crunchy. They are also very easy to eat while on the road.
● Yogurt provides fat that is essential to keeping you feeling satisfied – just make sure to stay away from the ones with all of the artificial sweeteners.
● Water is crucial! Soda and other soft drinks are loaded with sugar and other processed ingredients that jeopardize your health.
Other Solutions To Consider
Smoking leads to many health issues, including heart and lung disease, as well as COPD and emphysema. Quitting is no easy feat, but it is essential to maintaining your health. Sleep is another sneaky culprit of poor health and wellness. Unfortunately, proper sleep habits are very difficult for truck drivers to maintain. Ensuring that you are getting the proper amount of sleep and trying to adhere to a nightly routine will significantly positively impact your sleep.
The Bottom Line
Though the lifestyle of a truck driver makes it very challenging to stay on top of their health, there are many great options to consider when trying to minimize the risk. With a bit of planning, motivation, and know-how, truck drivers can significantly minimize the risks their profession contributes to their health.