HGV Drivers Should Know these basic tips to keep them healthy.
HGV driver jobs are demanding and their health & safety is also very important. This is why HGV drivers need to take care of themselves using these tips.
5 Health and Wellness Tips That All HGV Drivers Should Know
HGV drivers tend to spend long hours on the road, and may have to spend more, given the current HGV driver shortage in the UK.
Spending all day cooped up in a heavy vehicle can take a toll on the body and mind. This has made it important for HGV drivers to ensure that they are keeping healthy on the job.
HGV driver jobs are demanding, and drivers cannot take their overall health for granted. This is why they are required to drive safely and follow industry protocol at all times.
This post will present a few tips that will help HGV drivers take excellent holistic care of themselves, while being able to continue to perform well and be safe in their chosen career in the long term.
#1. Eat Healthy
It’s no secret that the food you consume will have a huge impact on your health. It is, therefore, imperative that you eat a nutrient-rich diet. More often than not, truck drivers come across several temptations, such as fast food or unhealthy snacks, when on the road.
However, consuming them will do nothing good for you. You need to make a conscious choice to eat food that fuels your body to stay strong and alert.
Having said that, you can surely indulge your tastebuds every once in a while, and eat your favourite fast food. But make sure that your overall diet revolves around nutritious food and healthy snacks.
You can always carry some fruits with you wherever you go. They’re a great source of important minerals and vitamins that are crucial for maintaining good health.
You can also download a good calorie-counting app that tracks calorie and nutrient intake on your phone. Tracking what you’re eating will motivate you to make healthier food choices. Moreover, you will be able to set calorie limits, based in whether you want to lose or maintain your weight.
Remember, the HGV driver shortage means that you’ll have to work more. But this does not mean you ignore your health and wellbeing. Consuming a balanced diet is a simple step that can go a long way in ensuring that you stay in good shape and can perform effectively for longer.
#2. Stay Hydrated
HGV driver jobs are stressful, which means keeping yourself hydrated by drinking water at regular intervals can slip your mind. Dehydration, however, can cause several health issues like fatigue and loss of attentiveness. This can be disastrous for an HGV driver. Drinking plenty of water is, therefore, essential.
Try and consume two litres (six to eight glasses) of water daily. This will help you stay hydrated. It is a good idea to keep a large-sized refillable water container in your truck and use it throughout the day rather than spend money on buying new expensive bottles all the time.
Further, don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Make it a point to hydrate yourself by sipping water throughout the day regardless of how busy your HGV driver job keeps you.
But, staying hydrated does not mean you guzzle on fizzy or caffeinated drinks. These will do more harm than good. In fact, coffee will negatively impact your sleep schedule, and fizzy drinks will leave you dehydrated. Not to mention, they contain lots of sugar, which means they have empty calories and are bad for your oral health.
#3. Keep Yourself Active
HGV driver jobs involve a number of health risks. So, apart from eating and drinking healthy, you have to consider performing some physical activity that allows you to stretch your limbs.
It has been found that 84% of HGV drivers were overweight or obese. According to the NHS, “adults should try to be active every day and aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week”.
Driving all day involves sitting in one place and in one position all throughout. In the long term, this can wreak havoc on your body. Regular exercise can benefit HGV drivers immensely.
As an HGV driver, consider incorporating the following activities into your busy schedule:
- Walking/Jogging: During your breaks, try and take a couple of short 15-minute walks. If you can, make time to squeeze in a proper workout in your routine. To motivate yourself, download a steps-counting app on your phone and monitor your daily progress.
- Cycling: Invest in a foldaway bicycle that you can carry with you wherever you go. This will make it easy for you to include cycling in your schedule.
- Weights: Club weights with walking and cycling, and you’ve got yourself an effective exercise regimen. Find a safe way to store your weights in your truck though.
Make some time daily to move out of your truck to stretch your limbs and perform these simple exercises. This should stimulate your blood flow and encourage proper circulation. It will also help you stay alert.
#4. Get Adequate Sleep
An HGV driver shortage means more and more work will need to be done by existing drivers. To be able to meet the rising demand, you need to ensure to look after yourself. Getting ample rest and frequent breaks are crucial to the overall wellbeing of HGV drivers. The lack of these can lead to driver incapacitation, which is among the most common causes of HGV accidents.
HGV driver jobs involve long working hours, which means drivers are required to concentrate continuously when they’re awake. This can tire the body and the mind. However, getting plenty of rest and adequate hours of sleep can help counter this problem.
Most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep on a daily basis. To get your shut-eye time, you can park your truck in a quiet and safe place, and set a regular sleep-and-rise schedule to develop a healthy sleeping pattern.
According to EU rules on breaks and rest, HGV drivers should get:
- at least 11 hours rest every day. This can be reduced to nine hours of rest three times between any two weekly rest periods
- an unbroken rest period of 45 hours every week. This can be lowered to 24 hours every other week
- a break or breaks of a total of at least 45 minutes every four hours and 30 minutes of driving
- your weekly rest after six consecutive 24-hour periods of working, starting from the end of the last weekly rest period taken
#5. Maintain Cleanliness in Your Lorry
The environment you work in can also have a big effect on your wellbeing. Messy surroundings and unhygienic surfaces can feel stressful, while also giving rise to germs.
Spending a few minutes cleaning your truck can help you avoid this problem. Wipe the areas you use the most with a good anti-bacterial cleaner every day. This includes the steering wheel and your seat in particular.
HGV driver jobs entail spending long hours on the road and sitting in one place all the time. This can adversely affect your health and wellbeing.
Your sedentary job can put you at the risk of suffering from serious conditions such as high blood pressure, poor heart health, and weight issues. Maintaining physical and mental wellbeing can be particularly challenging during a time of HGV driver shortage.
However, ensuring this aspect is crucial to having a flourishing HGV driver career. Hopefully, the above tips will help you stay in good shape despite your packed schedule and allow you to do your job to the best of your ability.