Life on the road as an HGV truck driver can quickly become a consuming lifestyle and is considered a very demanding job. The role can be both physically and mentally challenging requiring a lot of discipline.
Sadly, research has found that truck drivers on average have more health problems and shorter life spans due to their lifestyle than people in other careers. Reports show that 61% of HGV drivers suffer from hypertension, obesity, stress, depression, dehydration, sleep deprivation, and/or high cholesterol. The shortage of professional HGV drivers, covid and Brexit are all still affecting the transport industry into 2022. Thus, it has never been more important to ensure that drivers are keeping healthy on the job.
Forming new habits one at a time is an excellent way to get started to improve health and wellbeing. Mac’s Trucks Rental has gathered some top tips for HGV drivers to feel better and healthier when on the road.
Well Balanced Diet
It is often tempting to stop and grab the quickest convenience food, whether that be fast food, crisps, or chocolate. Fatty high-calorie foods can clog up a person’s arteries and cause lots of other problems. Such as increased risk of obesity, heart problems, back problems, and diabetes.
Ideally, begin with breakfast, research shows, people who eat breakfast regularly tend to have better diets overall. Starting well sets drivers up for the day ahead and increases blood sugar which gives drivers the energy required. Furthermore, this prolongs the need for lunch which enables drivers to get as far as drivers before needing to stop for food.
Additionally, snacking on healthy foods throughout the day will help drivers cut down on meal portions. Snacks such as boiled eggs, yogurts, nuts, dried fruits. It is also important to increase the intake of salad, fruit, and veg which contain a lot of great vitamins and minerals. These can improve overall health and help with digestion preventing various health conditions. Furthermore, they help lower cholesterol and preserve vision, one vital aspect for HGV truck drivers.
Drink A Lot Of Water
Research has found that 75% of the UK population is classified as chronically dehydrated. Various health problems arise due to dehydration which can affect a driver’s alertness on the road. Often when drivers feel thirsty this really means drivers are already dehydrated. On average a person should drink half of their body weight in ounces per day. This ensures the body is functioning to its highest potential.
Energy drinks, fizzy drinks, tea, and coffee are commonplace in numerous industries and many people rely on them to get them through a working day. Though these can take a toll on the body and teeth, in fact, coffee can actually dehydrate drivers. These types of drinks offer the body a short-term artificial boost of energy and alertness. However, everyone needs rest, so try to reduce the use of these stimulants to bypass the required break it requires. Replacing these drinks with juice or water will curb hunger and therefore the need to stop for food is reduced, saving drivers time.
Get enough sleep
Delivery deadlines and unconventional hours play havoc on HGV drivers’ sleep patterns. Sleep is vital to health and safety, especially when working long hours as a truck driver. Research has found that 1 in 6 deaths or severe injury is a result of a driver falling asleep at the wheel.
It is such an issue within the industry there are regulations in place to ensure breaks and sleep can occur. The EU Driver’s Hours Law states that drivers should not drive for more than 9 hours per day. In addition to at least 11 hours of rest each day. All driving and rest breaks must be recorded on the truck tachograph within the HGV truck.
HGV drivers need to aim at getting 8 hours of sleep a night with a regular bedtime and rising time, which is often difficult for truck drivers. Finding a dark and quiet place is crucial to getting the sufficient amount of sleep needed. Try and find ways to relax and destress before bed such as reading or completing some simple exercise.
It has been found that 84% of HGV drivers were overweight or obese. According to the NHS, “adults should try to be active every day and aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week”. HGV driving jobs are sedentary with long, unconventional hours making exercise exceedingly difficult. However, it is recommended that drivers should exercise at least three times per week to avoid obesity. Research has found that 52% of HGV drivers have a level of obesity which is more than double the 21% of the general population. There are many simple exercises that HGV drivers can participate in while on the road. Exercise can be just getting out and going for a short brisk walk for 15 minutes to get circulation moving and to breathe in the air. There are also various small exercises drivers could do if drivers fancied something more heart racing.
Keep It Clean
Since the COVID-19 pandemic cleanliness has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind. It has made it more important than ever to regularly disinfect personal spaces. Although living in a confined space can be challenging to keep it tidy it is important. Taking the time to pick up rubbish, arrange belongings and wipe down surfaces can benefit overall positive mindset, health, and driving performance. It prevents germs and bacteria from growing and spreading, prevents distractions, preserves the quality of the interior, and maintains a professional appearance.
Mac’s Truck Rental
Mac’s Truck Rental has provided a varied range of specialist vehicles for truck leasing, both short-term flexible and long-term fixed-term contracts. With our manufacturing capabilities, we can also meet the specific needs of businesses through modification or by building a completely bespoke solution.
We offer customers the benefit of immediate availability of specialised vehicle types that would normally have long production lead times. All our trucks are supplied with a full manufacturer’s warranty, fully maintained by your local main dealer, and include nationwide breakdown assistance.
Our range encompasses top manufacturers for any industry including Scania, Volvo, Hiab, and DAF. Including beavertail hire, skip lorry hire, crane truck hire, and hook loader hire. Get in touch today for further assistance or advice in choosing your lease.