Truck drivers unhealthiest lifestyles
Truck drivers have the propensity to lead one of the unhealthiest lifestyles in today’s working class. The very nature of the work is sedentary and the work in and of itself is somewhat monotonous. Drivers spend long periods of time on the road away from their homes and families, are exposed to high noise levels from the truck which can long term have damaging effects on hearing, effects that cannot be reversed, and are often forced to eat quick on the go meals containing high levels of fat and low nutritional value, to name but a few of the challenges they drivers may face.
Aging Truck Drivers Australia
In countries like Australia, the transport industry, particularly in relation to long haul drivers is facing a labor shortage crisis, with a rapidly aging workforce and low rates of younger persons entering into the industry, coupled with the physical demands of the job, that are forcing many drivers into early retirement, make this a truly urgent matter. In short we need to take care of the drivers we have and make the industry a more attractive one to new recruits.
Truck Driver Health
There are five areas of driver health that should never be overlooked:
1.A healthy diet – A lack of healthy food options when on the road and lack of access to cooking facilities will often hinder the ability to eat well. Drivers should be prepared and take healthy snacks such as fresh fruit to try and offset other unhealthier meals consumed.
2.Exercise – Long periods of sedentary work, will often hinder drivers from getting the valuable exercise they need, however even 30 minutes of walking a few days a week can improve driver health and is achievable.
3.Fatigue management and healthy sleeping habits – Irregular hours, night shift or inadequate sleeping quarters can affect a driver’s quality of sleep. The driver should ensure the sleeping cab is warm and comfortable and that all rest breaks are taken, and if necessary take an unscheduled rest stop. Read more about Fatigue Effects on Truck Accidents
4.Psychological health – Long periods of isolation and boredom when driving, drivers should be encouraged to listen to talking books, keep in contact with head office and other drivers via radio.
5.Family and relationships – Many truck drivers are forced to spend long periods of time away from friends and family and will feel disconnected from them when they return home. Drivers can try and reconnect with families by talking about work, sharing their experiences and ensuring they spend even small amounts of quality time with friends and family.
Experts agree that it is up to the trucking industry to address its own labour challenges, and make the industry safer for its current drivers and in turn more attractive particularly to younger drivers. As part of Health and Safety companies need to be encouraged introduce programs for drivers in which they educate drivers about health and exercise. This is not a problem that will simply resolve itself it needs time and money invested into it and it needs to begin now.