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Some of the common health risks truck drivers face

As a long-haul truck driver, you know all about the risks of other drivers on the road: the swerving texters, distracted moms and lost tourists that make each trip an adventure.

One thing truck drivers do not think enough about is their own personal health. While it may not be as noticeable as the tailgating SUV, it’s just as important to your long-term success as a driver. These are a few of the health issues truckers need to keep an eye on:

High blood pressure

With lots of caffeine and tight turnaround times, high blood pressure is common for semi drivers. Cross-country deliveries can be stressful. So can traffic congestion, road construction and inconsiderate motorists. All contribute to potentially high levels of stress. Fast food, high sodium and unhealthy snacks can amplify the problem.

This risk of high blood pressure can be controlled with medication and exercise. A healthy diet and routine doctor visits can also help curb this issue.

Gaining weight

In lots of driving jobs, deadlines are tight. One traffic jam or road construction project can set you back a couple of hours. This means sacrificing a solid dinner for a burger and fries on the road. This can quickly become a habit, and before you know it, your clothes feel like they’ve shrunk.

Truck drivers are especially at risk for obesity because of long days spent behind the wheel. Keep an eye on your diet while working. Eat vegetables and fruits whenever possible, and try to limit fast food. Joining a support group of other truck drivers can help you avoid punching new holes in your belt.

One-sided sunburns

When you’re behind the wheel all day, one side of your body becomes especially vulnerable to bad sunburns. Your left arm and shoulder area are not protected by your truck’s roof. Even through the window, sunlight can leave painful burns. These burns can lead to scars or even skin cancer.

Sunscreen can cut down on this issue. It’s good to keep some 30 SPF lotion on hand at all times. Even days that don’t feel warm can produce nasty sunburns. Keep lotion in your cab and avoid the hassle of sunburns.

Being a truck driver is hard enough without the added challenge of health issues. By keeping an eye out for these common issues, you can focus on the road. If you’ve experienced one of these issues because of your job, speak to a workers’ compensation attorney to understand your options.

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