A new Driver Health Calculator has been created, allowing HGV drivers to input their annual mileage and uncover their percentage of risk against 9 health ailments.
Long hours on the road and sitting sedentary can be a huge problem for many that choose driving as an occupation. In fact, Select Car Leasing’s calculator reveals that truck drivers in Britain, all face major health risks, with their long annual mileage contributing to ailments such as poor self-rated health, psychological distress, and an overall poor quality of life.
By inputting a truck drivers annual mileage (125,000 miles) into Select Car Leasing’s calculator, it revealed that driving long miles every year are at a 33% higher than average risk of experiencing psychological distress.
The isolating nature of a driving job means truck drivers can experience loneliness when away from their friends and family for long periods of time.
Heavy mileage means truck drivers are 86% more likely to experience insufficient sleep
No matter what you do for a living, a good night’s sleep is essential. Even more so if you’re a truck driver, as sleep deprived driving has similar effects as drunk driving. The research found that truck drivers are 86% more likely to experience insufficient sleep while being out on the road.
Irregular sleep schedules, noisy lorry stops and an inability to switch off can mean that it’s near impossible for drivers to get a sound sleep before they start working again.
Truck drivers experience a 78% higher than average risk of obesity
Truck drivers often fall victim to a lack of healthy options at service stations on the road and a severe lack of exercise. According to the study, their increased mileage puts them at a 78% higher risk of obesity.
5 Tips for Drivers to Maintain a Healthier Lifestyle on the Road
1. Challenge what is preventing you from sleep
As possibly one of the biggest contributors of a poor quality of life, it’s essential for professional driver to get the recommended 7-8 hours. High-quality ear plugs and mattress pads are essential for a sound sleep. Sunshades can block out any unwanted light and you can minimise any outdoor noise by downloading a white noise app to play while you sleep.
2. Stock up on healthier choices
Meal prep is a driver’s best resource for staying healthy. Investing in a car refrigerator means you can keep healthy, veg-packed meals cool. Having breakfast and protein bars stocked are easy for on-the-road snacks and prevent drivers from reaching for less healthy options like crisps, pastries and chocolate.
3. Move more on breaks
Moving more doesn’t have to involve a HIIT workout. When you’re living a sedentary lifestyle, even something as simple as going for a long walk during rest periods can make the difference. Fitting in exercise before working has even been linked to increased alertness and a better quality of sleep.
4. Stay in touch with family and friends
Being away from family and friends can be one of the biggest challenges that drivers face. Schedule in time to talk to your spouse, children, or parents so matter where you are you’re still keeping in touch with those significant to you.
5. Bring a hobby with you
Hobbies are so beneficial for relaxing and de-stressing after a long day behind the wheel. Whether it’s a podcast, a good book or a musical instrument, ensuring you take time away from work to do something you love can make being on the road less monotonous and improve your mental health.