Common Health Issues Dallas Truck Drivers Experience

by Jul 15, 2022

Given the nature of their work, long-haul Dallas truck drivers have the tendency to develop certain health issues. It’s unfortunate their work environment is often the catalyst for these health issues. The consequences of the health problems they develop from working can lead to these Dallas truck drivers developing medical conditions that affect their ability to drive.

This, in turn, could cost them their commercial driving license.

A survey conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) have found that those working as long-haul truck drivers have the tendency to be smokers, be overweight, and are less physically active than other US occupations.

If you’re a truck driver from Dallas concerned about your health issues, here are five (5) common health issues you might experience, and the best health tips to combat them:

Obesity

Sitting in the same posture for a prolonged period of time can lead to a variety of health problems, and long-haul Dallas truck drivers are among those at risk for developing these types of health issues.

Obesity is among the health issues these truck drivers may develop from the largely sedentary lifestyle of long-haul trucking. Aside from sitting still without exercise for an extended period of time, Dallas truck drivers also partake in fast food culture that contributes to their health issues.

Many Dallas drivers have a microwaves installed in their truck cabins that allow them to reheat fast food and microwave dinners on the go. A diet consisting of ready-to-eat TV dinners and fast food take out does not contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

This has lead to obesity in seven out of ten truck drivers in the US alone. According to a response from the survey, one truck driver admitted that it was fairly common being obese when working trucks and long-haul vehicles.

So what can a Dallas driver do to combat obesity while on the road?

Health Tip: Try your best to develop better eating habits.

While fast food is often the easy and quick option, you can begin with small steps by switching out sugary and fried options in your diet for healthier choices.

Consider introducing more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Dry fruits and whole grains keep very well and can be stored in your truck cabin if you want healthier snack options. Introduce more balanced meal options to your diet.

Try to be more active as well during your stops. Take time to move and participate in active, engaging exercise, like walking, jogging, etc.

Lung Cancer

Another common health issue Dallas truck drivers face is lung cancer.

According to a survey by the CDC, over 70 percent of truck drivers are smokers. Apart from smoking habits, Dallas truck drivers are also constantly exposed to harmful diesel exhaust gas.

While smoking does decrease stress in drivers, it greatly increases their chance of developing lung cancer. Even without smoking, exposure to harmful gasoline fumes can lead to similar concerns.

Health Tip: Make sure you have access to clean air.

It might be best to think about quitting smoking. Other stress-relief methods might be more conducive to your health habits than smoking. This, along with making sure to maintain your vehicle’s smoke emission standards and ensuring air circulation in your truck cabin, can greatly decrease your chances of acquiring lung cancer.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Truck drivers who have already developed obesity and are constant smokers might also be prone to this issue.
Obstructive sleep apnea is when an individual is unable to properly breathe while they are asleep, as their tongue might fold back and obstruct the airflow into their lungs.

Sleep apnea often leads to improper rest, which causes fatigue. Sleep apnea has also been known to reduce an individual’s reaction time.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, sleeping during the day, headaches during the morning, irritation and mood swings, anxiety, depression, and even memory loss and more.

Certain countries do not allow drivers who develop this condition to continue driving, as its symptoms can affect an individual’s driving performance.

Health tip: Learn what is causing your sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea can be linked to smoking, obesity, and even a person’s genes. While trying to figure out the underlying cause of your sleep apnea, consider maintaining a proper diet, and avoid smoking, alcohol, and other substances that might result in sleep apnea.

You might also want to think about beginning treatment and rest to overcome your sleep apnea.

Unbalanced Sleep Routine

Long-haul Dallas truck drivers are used to trucking for long hours without a fixed pattern, which can lead to many developing improper sleeping routines. Anything from poor weather conditions and traffic jams can disrupt a driver’s entire schedule, and results in a negative impact on how much a driver is able to rest and sleep.

Managers might also compel a driver to complete consignments regardless of external delays impeding a driver.

Health Tip: Try to maintain a daily schedule as much as possible.

You should not be sacrificing your health to complete a job. Try your best to maintain a fixed schedule, and demand for a proper timetable and shift roster for you and your fellow drivers. Request compensational resting hours for extra hours you’ve rendered.

You can also plan your schedule around your route, ensuring you are near roadside rest stops and shelters around the times you need to rest.

And as always, make sure to eat right and eat enough, and to rest at proper intervals.

Musculoskeletal Injuries

Limited space in the cabin can restrict a driver’s mobility. Despite wanting to, a driver might not be able to move and stretch as comfortably as their body requires. Having to sit in the same posture for an extended period can also lead to neck and back pain, and can even lead to overexertion.

Ignoring these aches and pains might lead to chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Health Tip: Take time to stretch your body at regular intervals.

There are certain stretching exercises you might be able to do despite the limited space of your cabin. Try practicing certain stretches over the course of your trip, move and stretch your body parts at least a few times during the trip. Make sure to adjust your position and avoid tensing your muscles from time to time to ensure you are in a relaxing posture.

It might also be a good idea to take regular breaks to step out of your truck and do some stretches. If the pain is chronic, consider consulting a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.

It’s important you learn to take care of yourself.

Treat your body well. It is what allows you to continue doing the work that sustains you, and deserves to be taken care of. If truck maintenance is something that your vehicle must consistently undergo, you should also apply the same attitude to yourself and work to maintain your own body.

As you learn to take care of yourself…

Let us take care of your truck for you.

If you need assistance with truck maintenance in Dallas, TX, WTX Truck Repair has your back. Whether it’s regular preventive maintenance, emergency truck repair in Dallas, or roadside assistance, contact us today and see how we can be your partner in keeping your fleet in great condition.

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