While the trucking industry is making strides to diagnose and combat conditions like diabetes and sleep apnea, there are still a number of physical and repetitive stress injuries linked to driving for long hours on the road.
Nearly 50 percent of the physical injuries truckers experience are in their arms, backs, and necks. The majority of those injuries are due to strains and sprains. However, there are a few things truckers can do to reduce physical injuries and stay healthy.
Empty Your Back Pockets
Many drivers carry wallets and other items in their back pockets. When you are sitting for a long time during hauls, the items between your seat and your derriere place pressure on your sciatic nerve. If that nerve becomes pinched, it can cause severe pain in your back, legs, and neck.
Save yourself from future pain and simply empty your pockets before sitting behind the wheel. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a lifetime of medical treatment and physical therapy.
Bring that Yoga Mat with You
Practicing yoga is a great way to keep your muscles loose and prevent strains on the road. Even if you are not into the whole yoga thing, bring a mat so you can do some simple stretching exercises on your breaks or when you start the day.
Just 5–10 minutes is all you need to prevent your muscles from getting sore or cramping up while driving for long periods of time.
Eat Your Vitamins
Many truckers suffer from vitamin deficiency. While it is always better to get your nutrients from healthy food, most truck stops don’t have vitamin-rich eating alternatives to simply grab and go. As an alternative, stocking up on vitamin supplements or a simple multivitamin can do wonders for the body.
Make the Healthy Choice
With most of their time spent in the cab, truckers have limited healthy options. However, if there is time and availability to make a decision to eat better, exercise, and take steps to prevent long-term injuries and health conditions, it makes sense to do so.
This doesn’t mean truckers need to eliminate fast food or exercise constantly, but introducing healthy habits will make you better at your job and help you stick around a lot longer for your loved ones.