The job of a truck driver is sedentary and does not allow for many stops along the way - especially not the gym. According to a Lean Trucker report, the best way to ensure that drivers can maintain their weight is to watch what they eat.
The obesity issue
Obesity is a significant issue among truckers as 69 percent of all long haul drivers are overweight, according to the National Survey of U.S. Long Haul Truck Driver Health and Injury published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. The Annals of Internal Medicine reported that this reduces the life expectancy for male and female drivers by six and seven years, respectively. As a result, World Health Organization research found that obesity increases hypertensive disease by 50 percent, osteoarthritis by 25 percent, type 2 diabetes by 75 percent and ischemic strokes by 33 percent.
What truckers can do
There are several ways truck drivers can maintain their weight and fitness on the road, according to Lean Trucker. Among the best ways include going for a walk, substituting snacks for vegetables, drinking water instead of coffee or soft drinks, eating grilled foods instead of fried or greasy options and eating smaller portions.
The long hours behind the wheel with tight shipping deadlines, limited health food options on the road and a limited number of exercise facilities can make staying fit difficult. But this is important because an American Trucker report found that weight maintenance is the top predictor of weight loss. Little changes to a trucker's diet can produce great benefits down the road for avoiding obesity.
Increased healthcare costs have had a significant impact on the bottom line of many motor carriers in the sector. A recent Cottingham & Butler Trucking Benchmark Report showed that average gross annual cost per employee has jumped by four percent in the last three years. In fact, the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine found that obese truckers averaged $591 additional health care costs to a company than drivers of normal weight.
This is why more companies are beginning to develop and promote health and wellness programs to encourage drivers to change their dietary behaviors. That not only keeps health care costs low, but it also ensures that truckers stay fit and driving on the road.
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