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Is Truck Driving Bad for Your Health?

The importance of a healthy lifestyle has been subjected to considerable inspection for long. We are not unaware of the dangers of leading an unhealthy and sedentary life.

When it comes to career choices, every job comes with its own set of prerequisites. While some can be physically exhausting, others can drain you mentally. Every job differs, and so do the health risks that come with them.

Truck driving seems like a relaxed job; however, sitting in the driver’s seat for long hours could harbor some severe health outcomes. If truck drivers acquire a medical condition that affects their ability to drive, it could cost them their commercial driving license.

Sitting for prolonged hours at a stretch predisposes an individual to considerable health risks. Truck drivers are the most at risk as are those with desk jobs. They face issues such as musculoskeletal problems like body pain and deep vein thrombosis owing to excessive sitting, along with metabolic disorders. The question has to be asked, “Is truck driving bad for your health?” Following is a list of conditions that are associated with truck drivers.

1- Obesity

A National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOHS) of 2014 noted that 69% of truck drivers as obese. Obesity, furthermore, leads to ailments such as hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and more. The same research reported that 80% of truck drivers harbor at least one risk factor for chronic illness such as smoking, high blood pressure, and more.

2- Smoking

According to various surveys, truck drivers are twice as likely to be smokers compared to other workers in the United States. This result does not merely address the male gender for smoking is three times higher in female truck drivers as compared to other working women in America. The reason behind these statistics is attributed mainly to the association between smoking and stress and fatigue relief.

Smoking is a habit that leads to other serious health concerns such as coronary heart disease, stroke, emphysema, as well as various types of cancers.

3- Low Physical Activity

Research recommends getting at least two hours of physical activity. Physical activity helps reduce stress, improve sleep, increase alertness, and lessen the chances of accidents. Surveys report that every three out of four truck drivers do not get the recommended amount of daily physical activity. No physical activity predisposes truck drivers to an array of ailments that stem from sedentary living.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a sedentary lifestyle results in approximately 35 ailments ranging from poor circulation and obesity to fatty liver disease and sleep apnea.

4- Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, involves prolonged periods of increased blood pressure. Increased blood pressure can lead to serious health risks, including heart disease and strokes, the two leading causes of death in America. Hypertension is prevalent among the masses. However, when it comes to truck drivers, 26% of truck drivers are hypertensive as opposed to 24% of other working individuals. This can result from a multitude of contributing factors such as low physical activity, stress, unhealthy eating, and more.

5- Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a severe health risk that results in many other conditions, including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and in severe cases, limb amputations. The illness entails increased blood sugar levels owing to a lack of insulin in the body. Insulin is the hormone that helps metabolize blood glucose levels and keep them under control.

As compared to 7% of America’s working population with diabetes, 14% of truck drivers report living with diabetes.

Such serious health issues such as these urge you to rethink your stance on these situations, especially if you are considering opting for truck driving as a profession. For instance, if you are looking for a truck driver job in Bakersfield, California, you should look into companies or services that consider the health of their employees.

Improving Health Outcomes

Here are some ways in which you can minimize the risk of disease while working as a truck driver.

  1. Try to get more hours of sleep. Fewer sleep results in many other issues, including terminal illnesses. Additionally, sufficient sleep reduces the incidences of road traffic accidents.
  2. Increase physical activity by taking out at least an hour or more from your busy schedule and get those muscles moving. The more active you are, the less at risk your body will be.
  3. Improve your diet by eating healthy. Little do you know, a proper diet can do wonders for your wellbeing and overcome other shortcomings.
  4. Try to reduce weight. Obesity is the reason behind many other illnesses. Reduced weight will make you healthier and subsequently reduce the risk of life-altering diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and more.
  5. Adjust your seating. Sitting in the same posture for a prolonged time can not only cause back and shoulder pain but can also cause severe damage to your internal organs. The kidneys are the most frequently reported organ to bear these outcomes. It is best to find seats with shock absorption and custom support adjustment features so you can change it according to preference.
  6. Set an ideal position by ensuring your seat height, back incline, and pedal distance. You can consider placing a small pillow or towel behind your neck for lumbar support.

Parting Thoughts

Jobs are an essential part of living for we would not be able to sustain ourselves without them. No job is terrible for you. You have to work your way around, making it suitable for your health because your health should come first at all times.

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