December 4, 2021

Addressing Truck Driver Health Concerns
Addressing Truck Driver Health Concerns
Back pain is a common health concern for a truck driver.

Many people have experienced going on a road trip, whether for hours or days, sometimes even weeks. The longer the time spent on the road, the more strain it may take on the body, displaying signs of soreness, muscle weakness, and more. Truck drivers spend most of their days, weeks, or months on the road, sitting behind the wheel, driving from destination to destination, and while other truck driver concerns may take precedent at times, health should always be a priority. The usual discomforts of driving for so long become second nature to truck drivers but other health concerns may become severe in the long run if left unnoticed. According to the CDC, health issues surrounding obesity, high blood pressure, and more are prevalent in long-haul truck drivers. It is essential to be aware of the health conditions that might develop when spending so much time behind the wheel, and finding ways to combat these issues will improve overall work and life satisfaction.

Common Health Concerns a Truck Driver Faces

Obesity: Being obese or overweight is prevalent for truck drivers due to spending immense amounts of time sitting behind the wheel and not having much time for physical activity. Many deliveries are drop-and-hook which eliminated the need for drivers to unload trailers, a great option to avoid back injuries or strains but took away from needed physical activity. Access to healthy foods or drinks is difficult for truck drivers, having to turn to truck stops or gas station foods which don’t provide very many healthy options. If left unnoticed, obesity can lead to heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. 

High Blood Pressure: Lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating, sleep problems, and lifestyle choices such as smoking and drinking can lead to a case of high blood pressure, especially for truck drivers. Blood pressure refers to the amount of pressure the blood pumping through the body puts on the artery walls. High blood pressure means artery walls receive a tremendous amount of pressure consistently, damaging the heart and leading to heart attacks, heart disease, stroke, and brain problems. 

Back Pain: According to the Nebraska Spine Hospital, the back is a body part designed to be in motion, and as a truck driver, motion is what the back lacks most. Being seated without movement for long periods can cause health concerns such as compression of the joints in the back and sciatica. 

How to Improving Truck Driver Health Concerns

Taking a stand for health sometimes requires determination and discipline, but a healthier lifestyle for truck drivers on the road may not be as hard as it seems. Packing lunches ahead of trips and filling coolers and mini-fridges with healthy snacks for the road can help avoid raiding gas stations for unhealthy pick-me-ups when hunger hits. Getting physical activity might be the most difficult because sleep, hygiene, or food become priorities for a truck driver when having free time. Some might find it helpful to have a gym membership for gyms with multiple locations to provide essential exercise and mental relief after being on the road for so long. When there are no options available for extra physical activity while on the road, stretching should be a priority for a truck driver. Stretching for back pain can prevent countless back issues and is also a form of meditation that can help ease mental stresses from driving. There are many ways to make life on the road simpler and better; the most challenging part is finding the drive and motivation to put those steps into play.