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What Are the Health Hazards Associated with Truck Driving?
Trucker Fitness Tips

What Are the Health Hazards Associated with Truck Driving?

Truck drivers have one of the most demanding and dangerous jobs that exist, and it is important to understand the problems they are faced with and how to keep the preventable ones from happening or at least minimize the damage of some of the inevitable.

Did you know that workers in the trucking industry experience the most fatalities of all occupations in America, which amounts to about 12 percent of all worker deaths? Approximately 66 percent of truckers who were fatally injured were involved in highway crashes.

Truck drivers also experience more nonfatal injuries than any other occupation. About 50 percent of the nonfatal injuries were serious sprains and strains, many resulting from truck drivers having to unload the goods they transport. Bruises, fractures, cuts and lacerations, and soreness and pain are some of the other most common nonfatal trucker injuries experienced.

The health hazards that exist in an occupation such as truck driving is astounding. For one, it is a very sedentary occupation with extremely long hours (more hours spent sitting with little energy burned and blood flow to muscles), truckers experience quite a bit of stress from constantly having to keep an eye out for dangerous travel conditions and reckless drivers (elevated cortisol levels), they deal with constant exposure to whole body vibrations (contributes to the trucker’s fatigue), and so much more.

If you want to learn more about all of the hazards related to truck driving, check out this in-depth article: https://www.safeopedia.com/the-major-safety-hazards-for-truckers-and-how-to-prevent-them/2/4884

A recent study by NIOSH found that U.S. long-haul truck drivers are more than twice as likely to be obese as other working adults and more likely to suffer from risk factors that lead to diabetes, coronary artery disease, strokes, and heart attacks. These risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tobacco use, and getting less than 6 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.

While the U.S. Department of Transportation requires drivers to get a medical evaluation, a certificate can last for 2 years, and of course, health and weight can fluctuate and change tremendously in 2 years time!

Trucker Fitness Tips

While there are many hazardous situations that cannot be avoided and are an inherent part of the trucking industry, there are some things that truckers can do to help prevent many injuries and other long-term health issues.

Below are some tips for keeping truck drivers safe along with some portable tools, accessories, and truck driver exercise equipment suggestions that may help make these tips easier to follow.

1. Stretch

Stretch and lengthen your muscles before, during, and after drives to improve circulation throughout your body and ease the tension in your joints and muscles. This also helps prevent soreness and manage pain.

Doing yoga and/or foam rolling after work or before bedtime is a great way to unwind so that you get a good night’s rest and wake up feeling refreshed.

BalanceFrom Yoga Mat

This 1/4″ high density anti-tear exercise yoga mat can be conveniently rolled up and features a carrying strap.

See this yoga mat on Amazon

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

Includes access to free online instructional video library on foam rolling best practices from the experts at TriggerPoint.

See this foam roller on Amazon

2. Strength Train

Build up your strength to help prevent any injuries related to loading/unloading goods.

Soges Adjustable Dumbbells

Features octagonal design to prevent rolling, and it goes up to 66 lbs for two dumbbells (33 lbs each).

See these adjustable dumbbells on Amazon

Tribe Resistance Bands Set

This 12 piece set includes 5 color-coded strength tension bands (5-35 lbs), 2 cushioned handles, 1 door anchor, 2 ankle straps, 1 waterproof carry bag, and an advanced exercise eBook.

See this resistance band set on Amazon

3. Take Breaks

Be mindful of working for extended periods of time without any breaks (especially bathroom breaks) and be sure to stretch whenever you do take breaks to help deliver much needed oxygen to your muscles and minimize any signs of fatigue.

Listening to music or talking to a friend or family member can also help energize you for another long stretch on the road.

4. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well

Stay hydrated and maintain healthy eating habits. Eating better quality foods will have a tremendous positive impact on your productivity, energy level, attitude, muscle recovery, quality of sleep, and even improve your immune system.

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Cooler

Features high performance insulation with radiant heat barrier that keeps ice up to 3 days and a SmartShelf to keep hard items like drinks separate from soft items such as sandwiches.

See this cooler on Amazon

Hot Logic 12V Mini Food Warming Tote

Evenly cooks or reheats fresh or frozen meats and vegetables without burning or drying your food. Also holds temperatures for 12 hours.

See this food warmer on Amazon

5. Get Enough Sleep

Do your best to sleep for at least 7 hours a night. This will give your body enough time to fully recover from your day and keep your immune system healthy and strong.

My Pillow Firm Fill

Made with patented interlocking fill and supports a refreshing night’s sleep by adjusting to fit the contours of your head.

See this pillow on Amazon

trtl Neck Support Travel Pillow

If you ever have to take a quick nap while sitting up, this travel pillow is perfect for supporting your head and neck while keeping your head from dropping forward.

See this travel pillow on Amazon

Trucking Industry Hazards
The Major Safety Hazards for Truckers and How To Prevent Them
Long Haul Truckers Face Long Term Health Risks