If you’re like most truckers, you struggle to keep your diet healthy and to find time to get in some exercise. What you may not know is that the average life expectancy for you as a trucker is 16 years less than it is for the rest of the population. It’s also true that the longer you work in the trucking industry, the higher your risk is for developing obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, type two diabetes, osteoarthritis and sleep apnea.
To learn more the health and fitness needs of you and your fellow truckers, Trucker Tools surveyed drivers across the country. Nearly 200 truckers responded to our health and fitness survey, sharing tips for eating healthy and staying fit on the road, as well as their frustrations, which we share below.
Common Health and Fitness Goals, Challenges for
One of the questions we asked in our survey was “What are your health and fitness goals?” More than half of the truckers who responded to our survey told us they hoped to lose weight, while 44 percent want to become generally healthier. One of the truckers told us in the survey, “I’m trying to eat better foods, but with the bigger truck stops taking away the restaurants, all that’s available is fast food and that’s very hard.” Another trucker said, “I’m trying to find a way to exercise while I’m on the road, but I need guidance.”
“I’m trying to eat better foods, but with the bigger truck stops taking away the restaurants, all that’s available is fast food and that’s very hard.”
Despite these challenges, most of the truckers we heard from are concerned about how their work may impact their health. Of the nearly 200 truckers who participated in our survey, more than 80 percent said that it’s extremely or very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and healthy habits on the road.
Getting Active and Fit
When we asked what truckers need the most help with when it comes to health and fitness, 51 percent said they need help exercising and moving more. Among those who responded to the survey, one trucker said that she needed help finding the time to exercise and get enough sleep. Another shared his strategy for fitting exercise into his busy schedule: “I eat as healthy as I can and walk two miles before bed each day.”
Roughly half of those surveyed told us that exercising while on the road was not even an option. Of those that do exercise regularly on the road, roughly 50 said they exercise one to four times each week. To stay physically active, some truckers told us they unload freight as often as they can, park far away in parking lots to make themselves walk further or take walks at rest areas during their breaks. Of the truckers who answered our survey, 75 percent said their preferred exercise is walking. Others said they do pushups, pullups, squats and weight-lifting to keep themselves active. Most of the truckers we surveyed who do exercise regularly reported that they spend 30 minutes or less each day working out.
Finding Healthy Food Options on the Road
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused truck stops to reduce their hours, capacity and food offerings, which is a real hardship for truckers like you. With this in mind, we asked you and your fellow truckers about where to go for healthy food options on the road. Approximately two-thirds of the truckers surveyed answered that they either bring all of their meals from home or they buy groceries on the road to keep their diets healthy. As one trucker put it, “There aren’t any healthy places to eat on the road.”
If you need to find a grocery store when you’re driving, don’t forget that you can search for Wal-Mart grocery stores with Trucker Tools’ free driver app. Simply tap on the Wal-Mart button and you’ll be shown the Wal-Mart locations closest to your current location. You also can search for Wal-Mart grocery stores in other areas by tapping on the Where to? button and entering the location. Tap on the Filter button and select Grocery or Supermarket and you’ll only be shown Wal-Mart locations that sell groceries.
Read Three Health Tips for Truckers if you’re looking for more advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle as a trucker. To download Trucker Tools’ free app for drivers, visit https://www.truckertools.com/web/carriers/.