"The first wealth is health."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson.
2023 is here! It's hard to believe that another year has flown by. The start of the new year brings a feeling of hope and optimism, as well as a sense of renewal and fresh beginnings. It is time to set goals for yourself. Since there is no wealth without health, let's start 2023 by resolving to stay healthy.
In this blog, we will talk about various truck driver health risks that commercial truck drivers face daily and try to discover potential solutions for these problems.
Truck drivers, often seen as the unsung heroes of the transportation industry, face various health problems due to the long hours and sedentary lifestyle associated with their job. However, when someone mentions health, physical health is the first thing that comes to mind. But this is where we are mistaken and ignore our mental health, which is a part of our overall health.
Let us discuss the physical and mental health problems truck drivers face due to their job demands and lifestyles and how a class A CDL truck driver can ensure health and wellness.
A person who does a profession like truck driving, where they are alone most of the time, not only feels lonely, but this loneliness can sometimes become a severe issue. This exacerbates truck drivers' mental health problems.
A truck driving job comes with its own set of unique challenges. Some of these are:
Long hours on the road away from family and friends
The pressure of meeting tight deadlines
Lack of social interactions
Facing dangerous and unpredictable conditions on the road.
This stress of long-distance driving can lead to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety or even fear in certain instances.
However, there are several ways truck drivers can overcome this stress. Some of these are:
Truck drivers often spend long hours on the road, making socializing difficult. They may still maintain social connections, though.
There are several other truck drivers at truck stops. So why not interact with them? Making friends in your industry is usually beneficial. After all, your trucks, routes, jobs, etc., undoubtedly cause you the same kinds of troubles daily.
Additionally, truck drivers can join online forums and social media groups to connect with other truck drivers or even use apps to find local events or meetups in the area they are traveling.
Moreover, out of all professions, trucking is where a person gets to the most destinations while over the road. Therefore, taking advantage of this and interacting with new people you meet is preferable.
2. Stay in touch with friends and family:
Studies have shown that long haul truck drivers often experience feelings of loneliness and isolation due to spending long periods away from family and friends. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Thanks to technology, we are now just a phone call away. We all have cell phones, so use modern communication tools to remain in touch with loved ones. You may use facetime, messages, or whatever way you like. However, be careful not to let your phone distract you while driving.
Also, share your thoughts and feelings, whether with family or friends, and refrain from keeping them to yourself because doing this merely causes you to battle with yourself, which has unpleasant effects. On the contrary, expressing your emotions to individuals close to you clears your thoughts, and you not only feel calm, but they also support you in getting through any challenges you may face.
3. Listen to Podcasts:
Podcasts can be a great source of entertainment and education for truck drivers. Listen to podcasts with you when you drive. They not only broaden your knowledge but also provide a much-needed distraction from any worrisome thoughts you might be having and help pass the time.
On every subject, there are podcasts and audiobooks accessible. Give me one topic that doesn't have even one podcast or audiobook related to it. Bet you can't! So, use your time productively.
Podcasts can also help truck drivers stay up to date on news, trucking industry trends, and other topics that are important to them. Also, podcasts for truckers can provide a sense of community, as drivers can connect with others in the same line of work. Finally, they can provide motivation and inspiration, helping truck drivers stay motivated and focused on the job.
4. Team truck driving jobs:
You can also consider the job of team truck driver. They usually take turns driving, allowing them to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time. Not only do they work together to maximize efficiency and minimize fatigue, but they can also provide companionship and support on long drives, making the job more enjoyable.
So, if you are bored by driving alone, consider this option to break up the monotony of long-haul trips, as team jobs can provide a sense of camaraderie, which can be especially beneficial for drivers who spend long periods on the road without any human interaction. For these reasons, truck drivers should consider going for team jobs when they are feeling overwhelmed or stressed from long-distance driving.
Check out this TikTok video on ways to succeed in the trucking industry.
These methods and taking time to relax and unwind can help to combat the problems of stress and loneliness brought on by long stretches of solitary driving.
Truck drivers are at risk for various physical health problems due to the long hours spent in their commercial motor vehicles, which can lead to long-term health issues if not addressed.
These problems include
Some of the methods by which truck drivers can overcome these problems are:
1. Ensure proper rest:
Truck drivers should ensure they get enough rest before their shift and take regular breaks throughout their journey; this helps to combat the problem of fatigue. Additionally, they should schedule their trips in advance, leaving enough time for rest stops, food, and sleep, as truck drivers frequently become exhausted due to extended driving hours and lack of sleep.
Also, truck drivers need to be aware of the indications of tiredness, which include heavy eyelids, yawning, and a loss of focus, and act immediately if they exhibit any of these indicators. Since sleep deprivation is a major issue for those doing over-the-road trucking jobs, adequate rest between shifts can help greatly.
Not only this but taking frequent breaks also helps truck drivers to prevent musculoskeletal disorders; this allows them to stretch and move around throughout the day, even while on route. By taking these steps, truck drivers can help to reduce fatigue and ensure good health while staying safe on the road.
2. Healthy diet:
Truck drivers often have to spend long hours on the road, making it challenging to maintain a healthy diet. However, there are some steps that truck drivers can take to ensure they are eating a nutritious and balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep their bodies strong and healthy. For example, they can plan and pack healthy snacks such as fruits and nuts.
Eating a healthy diet can help truck drivers maintain their energy levels, allowing them to stay alert and focused while driving long distances. Not only does a balanced diet help truck drivers maintain a healthy weight, but it also reduces the risk of obesity and other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Diet can also help truck drivers improve their overall well-being, providing them with the essential nutrients and vitamins they need to stay healthy and energized. Additionally, truck drivers should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. With these tips, they can maintain a healthy diet while spending long hours on the road.
Also, check out this easy air fryer pizza recipe.
Also, be on the lookout for Rig on Wheels' recipe e-book this year to learn more about healthy food to eat as a truck driver.
3. Practice good posture:
Good posture is essential for truck drivers, as it can help them to avoid fatigue, back pain, and other health problems. Conversely, poor posture can lead to muscle strain, poor circulation, and even permanent damage to the spine.
Since truck drivers spend most of their time sitting in their commercial vehicles, their posture is highly affected. Musculoskeletal disorders are a common issue for truck drivers, as the job requires long hours of sitting and driving, often in uncomfortable conditions. This can lead to chronic pain in the back, neck, and shoulders, as well as other parts of the body.
Additionally, they should adjust their seat and mirrors to reduce the strain on their neck, shoulders, and back. Truck drivers must sit with their backs straight and their feet flat on the floor. They should also keep their knees slightly bent and their arms at a comfortable angle. Proper posture driving is vital for drivers to maintain as it helps to keep them alert, comfortable, and safe while driving.
Finally, they should invest in ergonomic equipment such as a comfortable seat and a steering wheel that is easy to grip. By following these tips, truck drivers can help to reduce their risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.
4. Proper lifting techniques:
Truck drivers opting for touch freight jobs should use proper lifting techniques, as they are often required to lift and move heavy items. They risk developing severe injuries, such as back strains, sprains, and herniated discs, without the proper techniques.
Furthermore, improper lifting techniques can lead to long-term damage to the spine and other parts of the body, which can cause chronic pain and disability. Therefore, truck drivers should learn the proper methods for lifting and transporting big goods to lower their risk of injury and protect their health.
Proper techniques for lifting include keeping the back straight and bending at the knees, not the waist. They should also keep the object close to their body and lift it with their legs, not their back. Finally, they should be slow and careful when putting down the object, avoiding sudden movements.
Finally, truck drivers should avoid twisting or bending their bodies in awkward positions when loading and unloading cargo and take frequent breaks when lifting heavy objects to prevent fatigue or overexertion.
You might also like 5 WAYS TRUCK DRIVERS SAVE MONEY ON THE ROAD.
Truck drivers are an integral part of the transportation industry; despite all the challenges, they are dedicated to their work. These steps can help them stay physically fit, manage their mental stress better, and lead healthier and happier lives.
So, we wish you all a happy and healthy new year!
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