5 tips to improve your health as a truck driver
Posted: May 5, 2021
Sitting in the driver’s seat: 5 tips to improve your health as a truck driver
The driver’s seat may seem harmless but sitting in it for hours at a time can have serious health implications. According to several studies, a sedentary lifestyle is the primary culprit of 35 chronic diseases and conditions. It raises your risk for health issues like obesity, sleep apnea, deep-vein thrombosis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and accelerated biological aging, to name a few. As truck drivers, you’re more at risk because your job requires you to spend so much time sitting behind the wheel. Unlike people who sit at their desks for work, you’re unable to get up whenever you want to walk around. So, what’s a driver to do? While it’s true that you can’t change the number of hours you sit behind the wheel, there are things you can do to improve your health.
Research suggests that as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week is enough to help offset the health risks of a sedentary life. It doesn’t have to require an expensive gym membership or a lot of equipment. Even a brisk walk or jog is enough to benefit you. You can also look online and on YouTube for workouts that don’t require any equipment or that you can easily do in your truck.
Make the most of your breaks
Stopping to take breaks isn’t just about bathroom stops or filling up on fuel. It’s also a chance for you to get up, stretch your legs and walk around for a few minutes. Take advantage of these opportunities to get out of your truck and do a little physical activity. Next time you stop, try parking in a spot that’s further away so you have a longer walk or do squats while you’re pumping gas.
Adjust your seat
Frequent vibrations, which you’re exposed to in the driver’s seat, can cause all kinds of health issues, including lower back pain, musculoskeletal disorders, hiring loss, blurred vision, and damage to your nervous system. If you’re able to, consider getting a custom seat with good shock absorption features. This helps to reduce those vibrations and can also support your back and overall circulation. If you’re unable to get a custom seat, you can use a rolled towel to provide support to your lower back or neck. Make sure your seat is at the correct position as well. Your knees should not be above your hips, the front of the seat should not touch the back of your knees and your seat back should be reclined at a slight angle so that your back and legs are at a 110-degree angle.
Stay active on your time off
You spend so many hours a day behind the wheel of your truck, so it’s important to find ways to stay active during your home time. Staying active at home can be as easy as doing yard work or taking a walk around the neighborhood.
Ditch the bad habits
Since the sedentary portion of your job isn’t something you can change, you can make other lifestyle adjustments to improve your health. If you’re currently a tobacco user, consider calling it quits. Not only will your body thank you for it - your wallet will too. It’s also important to take a look at your eating and sleeping habits. Focus on eating healthier, cutting out sugar, staying hydrated and getting a good night’s sleep.
If you’re experiencing chronic pain or health conditions, be sure to make an appointment to see your doctor. At CalArk, we’re proud to offer our drivers major medical insurance coverage to help you navigate chronic health issues and help you meet your health goals. Reach out to us to learn more about the driver benefits here at CalArk.