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Health matters: Trucker lifestyle tips 

Navigating the open road as a driver comes with its unique set of challenges, not the least of which includes maintaining a healthy trucker lifestyle. Amid the demanding schedules and often solitary nature of the job, trucker wellness can sometimes take a backseat. 

In this article, we aim to shed light on practical, manageable strategies to integrate health and wellness into the day-to-day life of a truck driver. Even given the rigors of trucking life, prioritizing one’s health can lead to a more fulfilling and sustainable career on the road.

And when you’re finished reading, check out the other articles in our ‘Trucker health and fitness’ series:

What do truck drivers do?

Exactly what does a truck driver do? Their main responsibility involves safely transporting goods from one location to another, but their jobs encompass a lot more than just driving. A day in the life of a truck driver can involve a wide range of duties.

Before starting their journey, drivers inspect their semi trucks for any mechanical issues, ensuring the safety and functionality of the vehicle. This could include checking tire pressure, brakes, or fluid levels.

In addition, they often have to load and unload cargo, which can be physically demanding, contributing to the trucking life’s physical aspects. They must secure their load properly and maintain accurate logs of their hours and miles covered, along with any expenses incurred on the road.

After reaching their destination, they may be responsible for obtaining signatures and proof of delivery. They also report any issues or incidents that occurred during their shift.

In essence, life as a trucker involves more than just long hours behind the wheel. It’s a combination of physical labor, careful planning, adherence to regulations, and a great deal of responsibility.

Life as a trucker: Dangers of being a truck driver

Life as a truck driver often involves long hours, sedentary periods, irregular sleeping patterns, and fast-food diets, all of which can contribute to several physical health risks. The truck driver lifestyle entails the challenge of maintaining your health while on the road.

One of the most common truck driver health problems involves weight gain, as an obese truck driver can be a common sight. The combination of inactivity and unhealthy food options readily available on the road contribute to truck driver stomach problems. Moreover, overweight truck drivers often suffer from conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.

Many truckers on the road also suffer from musculoskeletal problems, primarily due to long hours of sitting and the vibrations from the truck. These issues might manifest as lower back pain or neck discomfort, which are unfortunately common health issues for truck drivers. A linehaul driver in particular may suffer the effects of semi truck living.

A typical truck driver schedule involves irregular and often inadequate sleep due to the demands of deadlines and delivery schedules. This disrupted sleep can lead to chronic fatigue and sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, negatively affecting a driver’s overall wellness.

Side effects of being a truck driver also include kidney issues. Why do truck drivers have kidney problems? Extended periods of holding urine due to lack of access to bathrooms or the desire to maintain schedules often lead to them. Urinary tract infections, bladder issues, and kidney stones are all common truck driver health issues.

So, what do truckers do to mitigate these risks? Healthy truck drivers must take proactive steps to manage them. 

How to stay healthy as a truck driver

How to stay fit as a truck driver is, unsurprisingly, a common concern. After all, a healthy trucker is more likely to be a happy trucker. Here are 14 tips to help you prioritize your well being, and hopefully maintain a long and successful truck driving career.

14 health tips for truck drivers

  1. Prioritize sleep: Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per day to help prevent fatigue and maintain overall health.
  2. Eat a balanced diet: Include more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins in your meals, and try to avoid fast food when possible.
  3. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain good kidney health and overall hydration.
  4. Regular exercise: Try to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, even if it’s just a quick walk around the truck stop or some stretches.
  5. Regular health check-ups: Regularly visit your doctor for check-ups to detect potential health problems early.
  6. Mental wellness: Make time for relaxation and activities you enjoy to maintain good mental health, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you’re feeling stressed or depressed. Truck driver mental health is an issue that deserves to be taken seriously.
  7. Practice good posture: Pay attention to your sitting posture while driving to help prevent back and neck pain.
  8. Take breaks: Ensure to take regular breaks from driving to stretch your legs and rest your eyes.
  9. Limit caffeine and alcohol: Excessive consumption can negatively impact your sleep quality and overall health.
  10. Avoid smoking: It’s a major risk factor for heart disease and respiratory problems.
  11. Wear sunscreen: Protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays, especially when driving during daylight hours.
  12. Keep a clean environment: Regularly clean the interior of your truck to reduce the risk of illness and to improve your overall well being.
  13. Use protective gear: When loading and unloading, use proper lifting techniques and protective gear to prevent injury.
  14. Listen to your body: If you feel unwell or overly fatigued, take a break or seek medical attention as needed. It’s essential to prioritize your health over getting to your destination on time.

Best workouts and stretches for truckers

Courtesy of TAFS, a global leader in commercial finance that caters to the unique needs of the trucking industry, here are some of the best exercises to try while on the job.

  • Knee highs: Knee highs are a great physical activity option for truckers that are quick and easy to do that also do not require a great deal of room to do them either.
  • Resistance bands: Resistance bands are another great option that can offer a wide range of work out options that you are able to complete within a limited space such as the sleeper can of your truck, parking lot, etc.
  • Neck curls: Being on the road for long periods of time can cause a lot of stress and stiffness on your body that should be worked out to avoid chronic issues building up. The neck is one area that is prone to issues such as hypertension from being on the road. Doing neck curls can effectively help stretch out those muscles to keep them limber and comfortable.
  • Arm curls: In the same manner as curls for your neck can have big benefits the same can go for your arms. Being stuck in one position for so long is troubling to muscles and proper blood flow. Get some curls in and you will notice a difference.
  • Twists: Do you experience back or hip pain from sitting for so long while truck driving? Doing some twists can help get a deep stretch to these areas and keep those muscles limber.

Getting started

Long term driver wellness is a serious commitment. That being said, go easy on yourself if it doesn’t all fall into place at once. Any little bit helps, so make incremental changes in a way that feels sustainable in the long run. 

And be sure you have the right truck driver health insurance coverage in case something does go wrong. This way, you can be back on the job as soon as possible.

Prioritize a healthy trucker lifestyle

Despite the challenges of trucking life, with the right precautions and self-care, it is possible to mitigate these health risks. Once you’ve built these tips into your everyday routine, you can focus more on the adventure, freedom, and unique experiences the job can provide.


Is truck driving bad for your health?

The sedentary nature of the trucker lifestyle, along with irregular schedules and often unhealthy diet, can pose certain health risks, including obesity, sleep disorders, and cardiovascular issues.

What is the life expectancy of a truck driver?

The life expectancy of a truck driver can be impacted by their lifestyle choices and how well they manage the health risks associated with the job, though statistically, it’s often lower than the average due to the job’s physical and mental stressors.

How many days a week do truck drivers work?

Typically, truck drivers may work up to 70 hours over an eight-day period, which could mean working for seven days a week, depending on their truck driving schedule and the nature of their routes.

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As one of the industry leaders, TAFS assists trucking companies to increase cash flow with some of the lowest factoring rates in the industry and a 1-hour advance option.