Being a truck driver isn’t easy, and it’s a career choice that should elicit real respect.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers can spend as many as 11 hours a day driving.
Additional time is then required for other duties such as fueling, paperwork, and managing repairs or inspections. Weeks may be spent away from home. Sleep quality suffers; in fact, an estimated one in four commercial drivers in the U.S. may be at risk for moderate to severe sleep apnea – with the majority undiagnosed, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Adding to the danger already inherent to being on the road, truckers have a more risk-prone lifestyle with higher rates of smoking, unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise, and work-related injuries.
Fortunately, a proactive approach can create new habits. Wellness programs, particularly those including regular health screenings and weight-management ideas geared specifically to truck drivers, can create a sweeping change in driver attitudes and can even drive down healthcare costs. One good place to start is DrivingHealthy.org, an online resource that helps drivers with wellness tools, such as how to locate healthy food options on the road, update a driver medical card or create an individual exercise program.