Truckers are prone to developing chronic diseases due to the inherent conditions of their work.
Statistics reveal that truckers, often overlooked in terms of health, are among the least healthy groups in the active population. This new year presents a crucial opportunity for the transportation sector to emphasize the importance of the health and safety of truckers, who face significant challenges, from obesity and smoking to diabetes and chronic joint pain, with potential long-term consequences for their overall well-being.
According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in 2014 and 2018, truckers are prone to developing chronic diseases due to the inherent conditions of their work, including long hours of sitting, confined spaces, limited access to healthy food options, and daily stress. Additionally, if truckers contract illnesses that affect their ability to drive, it could cost them their commercial driving license.
When truckers face health issues, not only is their own safety at risk, but also that of others and the cargo they transport. This challenge has persisted in the industry, and to achieve transformation, both drivers and fleet managers must understand the reasons that have led to truckers’ health reaching this point.
According to Healthy Trucking America, with data collected from the CDC, truckers exhibit the following statistics regarding chronic diseases:
- Approximately 80% of truckers suffer from at least one serious illness.
- Around 70% of truckers are obese.
- Approximately 51% of truckers are smokers.
- Over 14% of truckers report chronic joint pain.
- Around 26% of truckers suffer from sleep apnea, contributing to excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue.
- Truckers have a 23% higher risk of developing prostate cancer than the general population.
The working environment of truckers complicates the adoption of a healthy lifestyle, as restrictions on access to healthy options hinder beneficial decision-making for their well-being.
Preventive measures to improve truckers’ health.
It is essential to have the support of fleets to enhance the health and well-being of truckers. Fleet leaders should set goals and provide support on health issues, including ensuring medical insurance coverage so that drivers can manage their health effectively.
Furthermore, the implementation of informative programs, such as periodic courses on health, nutrition, and exercise, can be beneficial. This keeps truckers informed and engaged in their well-being.
Although certain factors, like prolonged sitting, are challenging to change, it is the responsibility of truckers to strive to incorporate healthy habits. Starting with small steps, such as carrying fruits and choosing water over sodas, can make a difference.
Maintaining realistic, specific, and flexible goals is essential for establishing good habits, remembering that progress and health are the fundamental objectives.
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