Among the discussion of work-life balance in the transportation sector, many are beginning to also shift the focus towards the health of drivers. Specifically, improving awareness about how drivers need to continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle while on the road. As drivers must sit for long periods of time alone in their vehicle, fleets are starting to find that more drivers are voicing concerns about how the job could be impacting their health.
A New Focus: Staying Healthy On The Road
While on the road, it’s important for drivers to take the time to focus on their health. While it may be obvious that drivers should always take the time to improve their well-being, sometimes, it’s easier said than done.
Driver Mental Health
1. Human Connection and Sense of Community
Many drivers within the transportation sector spend hours or even days on the road alone. Meaning, they sometimes don’t interact with others in a meaningful way until they return home to their families. During this time, many drivers report feeling disconnected or alone. While some may overlook how this can impact mental health, it’s important for fleet managers to do what they can to improve it. Allowing for proper ‘home time’ between long haul deliveries or encouraging drivers to communicate with each other can make all the difference. In addition, many fleets have seen success by encouraging their drivers to bring their trained pets to act as companions on the road.
Here are some additional tips to help long-haul drivers to stay healthy on the road: Tips For Good Mental Health
2. Technology to Improve Life on the Road
With technology advancing and being widely adopted, many fleets are seeing mental health benefits from such innovations! Specifically, because many tools and devices are being implemented to streamline tasks so drivers can complete deliveries and return to their families sooner. For example, ZenduWork has been seen as an asset to do this because it uses intelligent dispatching software to help make the lives of drivers simpler! As it can organize the quickest and most efficient routes while allowing for work orders to be completed electronically, it’s highlighted as something that can bring ease to some draining or time-consuming processes.
Driver Physical Health
1. Staying Active
As previously mentioned, drivers must sit for long periods of time. While some are able to take short breaks to stretch their legs, sometimes it’s all the physical movement they do in a day. That’s why it’s important for drivers to feel motivated after hours to get active! Learning about simple yet effective workouts that don’t require equipment can make all the difference. So if visiting a gym isn’t an option, drivers can still get moving! Not only can this help improve overall health, but working out consistently can release positive endorphins that have been proven to reduce stress, improve sleep and even in some cases lessen feelings of anxiety.
2. Choosing Healthy Options
In addition to staying active, it’s important for drivers to pick healthy food options while they’re on the road. Even though this can be difficult at some truck stops, it’s important that drivers do everything they can to combat this. Planning ahead with prepackaged healthy snacks and meal options to limit the temptation of fast food is only one way. Another option, if a driver is using a vehicle that has enough space and power support, is to cook inside the truck! Some have seen success with preparing dishes in portable stoves, microwaves, crock pots or even blenders that are able to be connected and powered by the vehicle. This, of course, is dependent on the company policies and approval of fleet managers.
3. Reducing Exposure To Germs
Last but not least, it’s important for drivers to stay on top of their hygiene to reduce their exposure to germs with recent concerns of arising viruses. As drivers will typically be travelling to various locations and will come in contact with new bacteria daily, proper hygiene is crucial. It is suggested for drivers to take extra precautions to ensure that they stay healthy and limit the spread of illnesses! Properly washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap, using hand sanitizer, not touching their faces, in addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle are only a few ways to keep immune systems strong!