These days, Americans are taking their health and well-being more seriously than ever. The health of individuals varies depending on their lifestyle, so they have different requirements and risks. A trucker, for instance, has very specific health issues to watch out for. Learn more about some of the common illnesses of truckers, and how you can combat each one.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one must have a body mass index over 30 to qualify as obese. In order to combat obesity, you need to follow a healthy diet and exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
Obesity is one of the biggest health issues for truckers, not just because it is a problem in itself, but because it has connections to other common trucking trucker health issues including…
- High-blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
- Heart attacks
- Joint issues
Another common concern among truckers is skin cancer. Prolonged exposure to the sun and sunburns increases your risk of skin cancer, and more so if you are a woman. You should wear long-sleeve clothing, check for unusual moles or spots, and use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or more.
Use of Stimulants
Due to the stressful job of trucking, sometimes you might need a stimulant to stay awake and attempt to keep on performing efficiently. Stimulants include coffee, energy drinks, and even drugs. The lack of sleep and the inherent health issues with each stimulant eventually takes a toll on a person. Cut down on the use of stimulants and replace with healthier habits, such as making the time to get restful sleep.
Trucking is a lonely job that often isolates the drivers from their families and friends. For this reason, depression is common among truckers. In order to combat this, you can find ways to increase interaction with your friends or family. Additionally, find ways to stimulate your mind, such as listening to new music, learning another language or listening to audiobooks. Also, always seek professional help for any mental health issues.
Exposure to diesel fumes and other hazardous chemicals can affect your body. The most common of these chemical-induced conditions is chronic lung issues. Check with your doctor when it comes to your lungs, and if necessary, use a breathing apparatus or any other way to prevent breathing in the fumes.
Practicing Healthy Habits
Most of these conditions, though not all, are preventable through the practice of healthy habits. Many of these habits are easy to implement in a rigorous trucking schedule. Some of these healthy habits include:
- A balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and grilled chicken and fish
- Exercise aided by equipment such as foldable bikes, weights, and running shoes
- Mental stimulation through audiobooks, newspaper puzzles, and music
- Proper sleep schedule aided by proper pillows and comfortable conditions
- Increased online or phone interaction with friends or loved ones, if possible
By learning about these common trucking conditions and the healthy habits that can prevent most of them, you can improve your health on the road. While trucking can make you more vulnerable to many of these conditions, you can take steps to mitigate the problems and sometimes prevent them altogether.
Editor’s note: This blog was originally written for the GTG Technology Group, Top 5 Health Threats for Truck Drivers and How to Combat Them.