In honor of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (Sept. 14-20), we're covering all-things trucking on the blog. Stay tuned for transportation content all week!
It's National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, the perfect time to thank drivers for all the hard work they do. To us, appreciating drivers starts with caring about their health and physical well-being.
If you’re a transportation company, celebrate this week by starting (or improving) a wellness program at your company. Drivers have unique needs and working conditions that put them at a heightened risk for a number of diseases and medical conditions. Helping them understand and overcome these risks is the best way a company can show its appreciation to employees.
The Unique Wellness Needs Drivers Face
According to the FMCSA, the life expectancy for drivers is 16 years shorter than the national average. The health of drivers is put into jeopardy by daily risks such as:
- Lack of healthy food options
- Reduced chance for exercise on the road
- Higher rates of obesity (55% of drivers are obese compared with 33% of all U.S. men)
- Ergonomically unfriendly work spaces (truck cabs)
- Hazardous chemical exposure
- Among the highest rates of musculoskeletal injuries in any industry (from loading and unloading)
- Extreme fatigue
- Sleep apnea
- Higher rates of depression, loneliness and/or anxiety
The working conditions of drivers need to be taken into consideration when designing a wellness program. Although there certainly are challenges with creating a wellness program that drivers actually will adopt, the rewards of improving employee wellness are great.
In addition to demonstrating your appreciation for the men and women driving your trucks (beyond lip service), companies have seen financial payoffs as well. Decreased health care and workers compensation costs, greater control of insurance premiums, and improvement of safety records are just a few of the reasons to invest the time in a wellness program for your drivers.
Wellness Events During Driver Appreciation Week
Once again, the Truckload Carriers Association is partnering with TA/Petro to host health fairs today, September 16. Drivers who visit the health fairs can learn about weight loss and nutrition (among other health topics); may get a blood pressure screening and glucose test; win cool giveaways for completing fun physical challenges; and more!
There will be famous fans of trucking at some of the health fairs, including Joe Martin, creator of Truckerise, at TA New Braunfels, Texas, and country star Lindsay Lawler at Petro North Little Rock, Arkansas.
These events will take place at 15 TA/Petro locations across the U.S. from about 3-7 p.m. Check TCA's On-Ramp to Better Health Facebook page for details about what's going on at specific locations. You can follow the action on social media with #TCAHealth14, too.
If your drivers are in the neighborhood, encourage them to stop by one of the following sites for wellness info and lots of fun:
- TA Tonopah, Arizona
- Petro North Little Rock, Arkansas
- Petro Ontario East, California
- TA Wildwood, Florida
- TA Cartersville, Georgia
- TA Boise, Idaho
- TA Clayton, Indiana
- Petro Clearwater, Minnesota
- TA Binghamton, New York
- Petro Waterloo, New York
- TA Lodi, Ohio
- TA Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
- TA West Greenwich, Rhode Island
- TA Antioch, Tennessee
- TA New Braunfels, Texas
Start or Improve Wellness Programs for Drivers
If you’re serious about appreciating your drivers, look for ways to improve the health and wellness efforts at your company. For information on creating a wellness program that works for drivers, contact us, leave a comment, or browse the Related Posts below for some ideas on where to start.
Please share with your drivers our Well Driver Challenge booklet, a collection of 12 health challenges designed to jump-start a healthy lifestyle. Click the button to discover more.