3 Health Concerns That Truck Drivers Need To Know About
Many truckers spend most of their daily life on the road. This means we get to see more of the world and enjoy a rewarding career. It also means that we spend a large portion of our lives in a seated position with minimal movement. This makes it difficult to keep our health in good order.
The nature of what we do can put us at risk for a variety of health concerns that are more specific to truck drivers. These 3 health problems are a threat, but there’s things you can do to combat them. Learn how to take steps to protect your body.
The majority of skin cancer is found in places where the body receives excessive sunlight. Places like the shoulders, nose, neck, ears, and arms are prone to developing cancerous growths.
As drivers, the left side of our body sees even more sun than usual. Even on overcast days, it’s important to remember to wear sunscreen on your arms and face. It may be more convenient to wear long sleeves, depending on the climate where you’re working. Even in the cooler fall and winter months, sun damage can still occur.
Choose a sunscreen that is “broad-spectrum” or “multi-spectrum.” This means that it can block out both UVB and UVA rays, offering optimal protection against cancer-causing sunlight. We recommend an SPF 90 as it allows you to go longer without reapplying a new layer.
If you notice any moles or other skin spots that has seemed to get larger, has irregular borders, or more than one color (or a different shade of color), make sure that you speak with your doctor. They will help you determine if they need to be removed. It’s important to do this as soon as possible to prevent any skin cancer from spreading over time.
High blood pressure is not just a health concern, it can disqualify you from passing your DOT medical exam. Unfortunately, some careers get put on hold while drivers work to get their blood pressure under control. Blood pressure numbers that exceed 140/90 can lead to the disqualification of a driver. When a driver’s numbers hit this point, they will be given a temporary certification and be required to bring their numbers down below this threshold within a specified period of time, or be disqualified from driving.
Hypertension can harden and thicken your arteries due to a buildup of plaque, eventually creating a serious restriction to blood flow. Those with high blood pressure are at greater risk of having a heart attack or developing other heart diseases.
Speak with your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Changes in vision
- Shortness of breath
- Pounding sensation in your neck, chest, or ears
- Chest pains
- Irregular fatigue
- Blood in urine
Natural ways drivers can prevent high blood pressure:
- Get your heart rate up by walking for at least 30 minutes a day. Try to get out of your truck at least once and walk around.
- Reduce alcohol intake as much as possible. More than one drink per day can increase your risk for hypertension.
- Cut your sodium intake. Try to avoid processed foods when possible. Even substituting one healthy meal a day can make a difference.
- Manage stress effectively. When you’re stressed, it causes your body to be in a constant “fight or flight” state. This physiologic response causes our bodies to produce adrenaline, speed up the heart, and constrict blood vessels. It’s not meant to be a prolonged condition. If you have , Do what you can to rationally process the stressful things in your life. Talk to someone about them and seek any help you may need.