March 2, 2023
Long haul truck drivers face many dangers and challenges on the road. Some are obvious, while some are more hidden.
The “hidden” ones are the health issues that many of these workers face, due to their work environment, the type of work that they do and the typical lifestyle that many workers follow.
While being a long haul truck driver may not seem as physically taxing as some other jobs, there are many dangers that the job presents. If you’re not careful, you could easily fall prey to some of these health issues as well.
Below are some of the most common health issues that long haul truck drivers face.


Long haul truck drivers are at risk of obesity for many reasons. For one, a majority of their job involves sitting in the same position for a long period of time. This results in truck drivers living more of a sedentary lifestyle, without a lot of movement.
To make matters worse, truck drivers often fall into bad eating habits. It’s much easier to eat unhealthy on the road than it is to eat healthy. It’s much easier to opt for what’s quick – such as fast food fatty snacks to microwaved processed meals – than it is to choose well-rounded, balanced meals.
Life on the road makes it difficult to get a home cooked meal, which can lead to truck drivers consuming food that is high in fat, sugar and sodium.
All of this combines to put long haul truck drivers at greater risk of obesity than people who work in many other industries. Obesity can cause some serious health issues, too, such as type 2 diabetes, insomnia and coronary diseases.
Preventing obesity takes some thoughtfulness and planning. Long haul truck drivers should approach their food intake like they do the route for their trip, where careful planning results in the most efficient trip possible.

Lung Issues

Long haul truck drivers are also more at-risk to develop lung cancer than people who work in other industries. One factor in this is habit while the other is environmental.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that more than 70% of long haul truck drivers are smokers. Smoking is something that many drivers do to relieve stress, and since they don’t have to take breaks from work to do it, they can be prone to smoking more than others who, say, have to walk away from a desk to take a smoke break.
In addition, truck drivers are exposed to harmful chemicals such as fumes from gasoline as well as truck emissions. There’s unfortunately no way around being exposed to these materials.
All of this adds up to being at risk of developing lung cancer and other lung issues. To combat this, truck drivers should avoid smoking as much as possible. This is part of the equation that is within their control.

Body Injuries

Another thing that sitting for long periods of time does is cause extra wear and tear on certain parts of your body. Long haul truck drivers can be susceptible to musculoskeletal injuries both because of the position that they must sit in for long periods of time and because they don’t move around much.
Truck drivers don’t often have the best posture. Plus, even if they did, the extra sitting upright with their arms stretched out in front of them would still likely cause extra stress on their back, neck, shoulders and more.
While these pains may just start as simple aches, they can lead to much more serious injuries over time. Some of these injuries can be helped by physical therapy or surgeries, while others will turn into chronic issues such as lower back pain.
Long haul truck drivers should know that they are susceptible to these types of injuries, and should take some steps to prevent it from happening. This could include making sure to stop and walk around as often as possible, do stretching exercises whenever they’re done for the day, and try to remain as calm and relaxed as possible on the trip.

Sleep Disorders

There are a number of sleep disorders that long haul truck drivers are susceptible to. Most doctors recommend that people get anywhere between six to eight hours of sleep per night, during the overnight hours, as much as possible.
Any long haul truck driver will tell you that this isn’t possible all the time – or even often. The nature of their job means that they work long hours, sometimes until very late at night or even overnight. This results in their sleep being much more erratic, both in terms of the time of day they get it as well as how much sleep they actually get.
It’s not uncommon for truck drivers to sleep much less than the recommended time per day, nor is it uncommon for the sleep patterns to be inconsistent every day. This can lead to insomnia over time, which can cause significant health issues.
What’s more, due to the higher risk of obesity, long haul truck drivers often commonly suffer from sleep apnea. This can be a very serious ailment, especially if it’s left untreated. While others may think your loud snoring is just annoying, it does mean that you might not be breathing for a period of time.
Everyone needs proper rest to function. Without it, many major health problems can arise, such as heart conditions, hypertension and even elevated levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
As stated above, doing everything you can to remain as healthy as possible will help you rest as best as you can – even if your rest isn’t as long or as consistent as doctors would like.
If you are suffering from insomnia and/or sleep apnea, you should visit a doctor who specializes in sleep. They may recommend over-the-counter sleep aids or even prescribe you a CPAP machine if your sleep apnea is a big enough concern.
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