Common Medical Issues That Truck Drivers Face

Becoming a truck driver is a decision that is often based on the high-income bracket that is provided, coupled with the low entry requirements. In some states, such as Kansas, truck drivers earn as much as $454,000 per year. Even when looking at other areas, truck drivers often still make well over $100,000 per year. 

While a career as a truck driver does seem like a lucrative opportunity that many do consider, giving them a chance to live a better life or perhaps even provide for their family better, there are risks that come with the package as well. Truck drivers have been found to be especially prone to certain diseases, which could put their lives at risk. We will analyze some of the most common medical issues that truck drivers face in this post. 

 

Obesity

Among truck drivers, one of the most commonly experienced medical issues is an excessive gain in body weight. In one study, researchers found that up to 70% of truck drivers are obese. Additionally, the study also found that about 17% of truck drivers are considered to be morbidly obese. 

 Obesity has recently been declared a worldwide public health concern, and medical experts are officially considering this medical issue a disease. 

Truck drivers who are obese have a significantly higher risk of developing heart disease, suffering a stroke, and experiencing the complications of high blood pressure. Obesity has also been linked to the following complications:

  • Cancer
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Gallstones
  • Diabetes

There are all factors that can contribute to severe issues in the body – and, in some cases, the complications can even become fatal. 

Truck driver eating fast food

 

Sedentary Lifestyle

Another common medical issue among truck drivers is the fact that the majority of these individuals have a sedentary lifestyle. What this means is that they will be inactive most of the time and not gain enough exercise and physical activity to main their overall well-being. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only about 25% of men and 20% of women who are truck drivers gain some form of exercise in between their trips. It is recommended that truck drivers obtain at least 30 minutes of exercise on a daily basis. This should be done for at least five days of every week. 

A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to many potential health ailments. First off, it contributes to obesity. Thus, this puts the person at risk of all the complications that have been shown to accompany excessive weight gain. 

By leading a sedentary lifestyle, the truck driver is also at a higher risk of breast and colon cancer. There also seems to be a significant increase in the risk of a heart attack, as well as coronary artery disease. 

 

Sleep Deprivation

Yet another common medical problem that truck drivers are often faced with is sleep deprivation. This means the driver fails to ensure they gain enough sleep on a day-to-day basis to support their cognitive function, while also supporting their bodys overall health. 

It is generally advised to obtain between seven and nine hours of sleep for a healthy adult person. While this may be somewhat difficult to achieve for a truck driver, careful planning of roots and following the right plan can provide for enough time to sleep – without causing delays in the delivery of goods. 

When the truck driver suffers from sleep deprivation, they are at a higher risk of suffering from the following complications:

  • Mental illness
  • Depression
  • Stroke
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Sleep apnea

There may also be a reduction in the person’s physical strength, and their immune system could become compromised, which reduces their ability to fight against infections, such as bacteria or viruses entering the body. Drowsiness and concentration problems, along with a feeling of falling asleep, are particular issues of concern that are often linked to accidents involving a truck with a person who has sleep deprivation. 

Safe truck driving

 

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Often referred to as Trucker’s leg among these individuals, the peripheral arterial disease is a condition that leads to restrictions in the body’s blood circulatory system. This condition causes blood flow throughout the body to become restricted – but it does not affect circulation in the heart. In some cases, the flow is not only reduced, but a blockage in blood vessels may also occur. 

Several complications can come from the development of the peripheral arterial disease. As the blood flow is reduced, the person is likely to experience muscle pain in their legs. There may also be sores that develop on the leg. Many of the truck drivers with Truckers Leg disease will find that the areas affected by peripheral arterial disease become less sensitive when touched. There are also some truck drivers who tend to develop changes in their skin color, along with a risk of hair loss when they have peripheral arterial disease. 

 

The Solution Could Be A Visit To Your Provider’s Office

A DOT physical exam is required for all truck drivers – and there is a good reason behind this. These physical examinations are performed in order to detect the specific risks and medical issues that truck drivers often face. Through a frequent DOT physical exam, any condition that develops will usually be detected during the process. The practitioner performing the exam will take extra care to ensure they consider looking for signs of the most common medical issues that truck drivers are known to experience. 

 

From heart disease to obesity and more, truck drivers are considered to be exposed to a higher risk of several medical problems. The development of these medical issues can have a significant impact on the person’s general quality of life and ultimately lead to a shorter lifespan. With frequent physicals for truck drivers, however, medical issues can often be detected during an early stage, which may lead to a more successful approach to treating the illness.