How Can Trucking Companies Improve the Overall Health of Drivers?
If your trucking company wants better employee productivity and performance, it’s time to focus on your drivers’ overall health. Researchers from the NIHR in Leicester revealed that drivers’ average BMI and waist circumference are higher than normal levels. Since most drivers pursue sedentary lifestyles, they are at a higher risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Unfortunately, the researchers also discovered that truck drivers suffer from poor mental health. It was highlighted that US truck drivers have higher levels of anxiety and depression than the average worker, thus increasing their likelihood of experiencing collisions on the road.
Given these dire health conditions, you need to start supporting the wellness of your employees. To start, here’s how your trucking company can improve the overall health of your drivers:
Digital Fitness Programs
Many truck drivers drive long distances for many hours, so it’s much easier to catch up on sleep than hit the gym. Unfortunately, when this happens, drivers’ physical and mental health can suffer.
Trucking companies can put a stop to their drivers’ sedentary lifestyles by making it easier for the employees to exercise. Our article on the ‘Benefits of Yoga for Travel’ highlights that mind and body exercise can be practiced everywhere through the guidance of digital platforms and books. Through these accessible yoga resources, drivers can do a quick yoga routine to improve their body’s circulation and relieve any pain, then hop back on their trucks to continue their drives.
Virtual Care Services
Truck drivers have a higher risk for physical and mental illnesses, so it’s crucial to boost their access to medical services. But since truck drivers travel to numerous locations, it’s easier for them to connect with telehealth professionals than in-office physicians.
Since trucking companies need to provide on-demand healthcare services for drivers on the go, the telehealth platform Wheel illustrates how companies can customize virtual care services for their employee benefits program. A customizable healthcare solution allows companies to achieve up to 70% savings while allowing their drivers to benefit from primary care, behavioral health, and diagnostics services in one solution. By boosting the accessibility of healthcare services, your company can ensure your drivers get effective, timely care.
Regular Sleep Disorder Screening
Truck drivers also have a high risk for sleep apnea. This sleep disorder interferes with the quality of their rest, and drivers with sleep apnea may experience daily memory issues and daytime fatigue, which can lead to accidents.
Recognizing the hazards of sleep apnea, the chief medical officer at the National Transportation Safety Board recommends that all transportation operators must be screened and diagnosed for sleep apnea. Companies must also provide flexibility with the screening and treatments for this sleep disorder so that it’s easier for drivers to get the help they need.
Many truck drivers also struggle to maintain a healthy weight because of the lack of nutritious food options on the road. Long-distance truck driver Carlos Soto explains that he had to make a significant effort to fit a healthier diet into his lifestyle. Rather than relying on convenient, fast food, he preps his meals and brings a supply of healthy snacks for his shifts.
Similarly, companies can encourage truck drivers to consume a nutritious diet by providing educational programs. Truck drivers need to learn how to prepare nutritious meals to bring healthy meals for their long drives instead of resorting to fast food.
Due to the nature of trucking, truck drivers may pick up unhealthy habits on the road. By making it easier to pursue a healthy lifestyle, trucking companies can reduce the occupational hazards that come with the job.