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Health Issues Associated with Truck Drivers
Common Maladies That Afflict Commercial Truck Operators
While many truck drivers love what they do, it's no secret that the truck industry is hard on your health. They sit for long stretches without moving from the driver's seat, which can lead to truck driver health issues. The job can make you lonely, and some suffer from depression and isolation. These conditions can lead to dangerous habits like substance abuse, smoking, and using stimulants to stay alert.
If you're a truck driver, you're at risk for developing health issues that affect people with sedentary lifestyles, plus the added danger of being on the road. Additionally, your psychological well-being suffers from the isolation that comes with the job. The evidence is conclusive that the trucking profession can lead to a decrease in health.
Common Health Issues Developed by Truck Drivers
Lack of movement combined with unhealthy eating habits and stress can develop into life-threatening diseases. If you feel that something isn't right with your body, or if you're experiencing symptoms that weren't there before, pay attention. An underlying disease may be the cause. trucker often experience:
- Lung problems
- Injuries, especially from accidents
- Sleep apnea and fatigue
- Obesity and high blood pressure
- Substance abuse
- Stress, depression, and loneliness
- Exposure to chemicals and hazardous material
- Back and upper body pain
An unhealthy diet causes countless diseases, but its effects on truck driver health are worse when combined with alcohol, stimulants, or smoking. Many truck drivers resort to stimulants to stay awake or smoke while driving when they're bored. They might also have a drink or two before they sleep. If you find yourself with even one of these habits getting out of hand, make an active change. Your lungs, heart, and liver are not indestructible, and you might damage them beyond repair if these habits continue.
Lack of Movement and Exercise
You must move your body if you want to improve your health as a truck driver. Your semi-truck or 18-wheeler might be a hassle to park when you're on the go, but your muscles will thank you later when you're in top shape. It might be hard to carve time out of your schedule daily, but even 20 minutes of vigorous exercise makes an impact.
Psychological Health Risks
Besides physical ailments, truck drivers face psychological health risks, too. Since truck driving involves being alone for long periods, this isolation leads to loneliness, which can develop into depression. Other mental health issues include the chronic stress of delivery deadlines and driving for long periods.
You need to have a support system. Take advantage of smartphones and apps that let you connect with friends and family. Listen to an audiobook while you're on the go, make frequent stops, and socialize whenever you can.
Not Seeking Medical Attention
Due to their hectic work schedule, many truck drivers don't make regular visits to healthcare practitioners. Although you may want to skip your checkup or doctor's appointment, your health comes first. These checkups are vital when it comes to detecting changes happening in your body. These changes later manifest as problems that inhibit your ability to do your job. You should also make a point to seek medical attention for any injury you receive on or off the job. Your doctor visits are as much a priority as your deadlines.
Lack of Rest
Truck drivers often suffer from a lack of rest, and sometimes the reasons are out of their control. Although some truck drivers intentionally forgo sleep to meet a delivery deadline, the lack of rest stops for truckers makes it hard to find cost-effective and safe places to sleep.
To make up for it, truck drivers park their big trucks on the side of the road and only get a few hours of rest. Drowsiness is one of the leading causes of truck driver accidents. Don't take rest lightly if you're a truck driver, as you'll endanger your life and others'.
A Little Prevention Goes a Long Way
It's not easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle as a truck driver, but the extra effort you put in pays off. Truck drivers are a resilient bunch, but they also have a high turnover rate because of the obstacles that come with the job. Health is a major concern for people who want to get in the truck driving industry. Making an effort to exercise, kick bad habits, and get proper rest go a long way when it comes to staying fit and healthy in this profession.
The good news is that most truck driver health issues are preventable. Don't wait for symptoms to start before you take care of yourself. Below are the most common health issues associated with truck drivers and what you can do to prevent or eradicate them.
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