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Getting Serious About Truck Driver Health

A study published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health earlier this year found that truck drivers are more likely than the general population to have higher-risk factors for chronic diseases and are more likely to smoke. The study showed that risk factors such as high cholesterol, poor sleep patterns, sedentary lifestyles, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and other factors were more common in truck drivers than in Americans in general.

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About 69% of drivers polled in the study were found to be obesity, an obesity rate that is twice that of American adults. About 88% of the truck drivers had at least one serious risk factor, while 54% of the general population has these types of risk factors for chronic disease.

This and other studies have noted that driver health is not just a problem for truck drivers themselves. Health problems can also mean trucking collisions in Hollywood and other communities. When truck drivers are ill and at risk of heart disease, strokes, and other serious illness, they could potentially have a heart attack or other medical emergency while driving, putting other road users at risk.

Part of the problem seems to be the very nature of the work, according to safety experts. Truck drivers spend long hours on the road, and driving a truck is by definition a sedentary job. Since truck drivers are on the road for so long, it can be a challenge to eat correctly or to get exercise. Even getting regular checkups for health can be a challenge since truck drivers may travel all over the country in a given year.

Despite these challenges, however, there is much that can be done. In response to the studies, truck drivers have taken up the challenge. The Healthy Trucker Challenge encourages truckers to get more exercise and make better lifestyle choices for better health. Drivers are encouraged to get more active and to post their progress online to compete with others. In addition, Healthy Trucker is another initiative that provides assessment, wellness coaching, and other resources for truckers interested in getting healthy.

In addition to these larger programs, some truckers are simply grouping together through social media to get healthy. They are sharing healthy eating tips for the road as well as exercise tips that don’t require them to attend a local gym. Many truckers are finding that getting snacks at farmer’s markets or grocery stores is less expensive and healthier than eating fast food, for example. Some share crock pot recipes that can be easily prepared on the road. Some truck drivers choose to carry weights or other equipment in their cabs to get in some exercise on the road, even if they are far from home and far from local gyms.

If you have been injured in a truck collision caused by a reckless truck driver, you can contact the law offices of Flaxman Law Group for a free case evaluation. Our team can meet with you to give you an honest and personalized evaluation of your situation and your options for recovery.