For a myriad of reasons, truck driver health issues abound. Keeping drivers healthy and happy is a top concern for trucking businesses that understand the importance of providing support and education in this area. The good health of your fleet’s drivers can lead to higher productivity, less downtime, employee retention and an overall happier, more satisfied workforce.
Common Ailments Affecting Truck Drivers & How to Avoid Them
- Skin Cancer – Skin cancer is a threat to anyone who works outdoors, and truck drivers inside their trucks are still exposed. Following the basic precautions such as an SPF of 30 or more and regular yearly checkups can prevent skin cancer-related health problems.
- Sleep Apnea – Sleep apnea is a serious health problem that is common among truck drivers. It is tied to obesity, age and is common with smokers. Quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and regular health checkups can prevent this dangerous condition.
- Obesity – Obesity is a common truck driver health issue due to the sedentary nature of the work as well as the lack of healthy food options while traveling. Pre-planning of diets and regular exercise can help alleviate this issue and the many ancillary health problems that result from it.
- High Blood Pressure – Lack of exercise, obesity and high sodium diets cause high blood pressure and truckers are susceptible to all of these related conditions. A reduction in sodium intake is the best way to make a quick change as well as keeping regular checkups and following the advice of doctors.
- Heart Attacks – More than one million Americans suffer heart attacks yearly, and truck drivers suffer from them at a higher than average clip. Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack including pressure felt in the chest or arms, discomfort radiating down to the arms, sweating, nausea and shortness of breath, can be lifesaving.
Ways Your Business Can Help Support Truck Driver Health
- Provide education to your workforce about these common health issues and how to prevent them.
- Provide incentives to those drivers that maintain healthy BMI’s, quit smoking and drivers whose blood pressure is in a healthy range.
- Encourage work/life balance to support an overall healthy lifestyle.
Statistics show a truck driver turnover rate in the trucking industry upwards of 90%. For many reasons, the industry has a serious resource shortage. A top priority of the smart trucking business is, surely, to keep the workforce happy, healthy and loyal. A few easy-to-implement initiatives will go far to support your fleet’s truck driver health.
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