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Long-haul truckers face increased risk of disabling conditions

Long-haul truck drivers are some of the people who help to keep our country running. Some of these truckers are subjected to conditions that most people would find intolerable. These truckers are away from home most nights of the week. Being away from home so much can lead to serious health problems. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health did a survey of 1,670 long-haul truckers that provided an interested look into these professional drivers.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that 69 percent of long-haul truckers are obese and 17 percent are morbidly obese, especially when you think of how much unhealthy foods these truckers come across when looking for a meal. Add in the sedentary lifestyle since they sit down while driving and you can see how being overweight would be easy.

Unhealthy behaviors like getting less than 6 hours of sleep, having limited physical activity, smoking, being obese having high blood pressure or having high cholesterol were also noted. In fact, more than half of the truckers surveyed noted that they had at least two of these. That increases the risks of suffering from a disabling condition.

The troubling effects of this sedentary lifestyle are considerable. People who are obese are at an increased risk of heart disease, joint pain, back pain, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. If a trucker is diagnosed with these conditions, it might disqualify them from being able to drive semi-trucks because of the health qualifications required for a commercial driver’s license.

Truckers who have been sidelined because of medical considerations might opt to seek disability payments. Learning about the requirements for receiving these payments is the first step in obtaining them.

Source: United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Long-Haul Truck Driver Health Survey Results,” Karl Sieber, Ph.D., accessed July 15, 2015

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