National Trucker Health Month

Okay, okay. I know everybody is talking about the Google Self-Driving Car, but I think this is more interesting: the Progressive Corporation just announced June is National Trucker Health Month! (What about the health of blog post writers for CarInsuranceQuotes.com, huh? HUH!?!)

Photo from bls.gov

And, insurer Progressive conveniently wrote a couple of articles meant to guide truckers towards healthier dietary choices and encourage them to do easy exercises on the road. You can find the links in the official press release found on the WSJ. Speaking of which, here is a snippet from said press release:

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), more than one third of American adults are obese, with truck drivers at an even greater risk for obesity due to the large amount of time they spend sitting behind the wheel as part of their job. To help combat this problem, the trucking industry has implemented a number of offerings, including wellness programs, healthier menu items, and free exercise rooms for drivers. Many truckers are even bringing bicycles with them on the road or preparing their own lunches.

I love that people are doing what they can to help truckers get more healthy, because it's an occupation with lots of challenges for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Let's look at the day in the life of a trucker... a quick Google search has given me insight to trucker blogs and websites. Here are some stats:

1) "Most trips are from 500 to 2500 miles" (http://www.lifeasatrucker.com/truckers-life.html)

2) "Truckers can legally drive 11 hrs in a 14 hour period during a 24 hr day" (http://www.lifeasatrucker.com/truckers-life.html)

3) "Meals on the go or time to eat at a restaurant is a variable thing. Towards evening you keep an eye on the Department of Transportation time clock so as not to violate any rules which can be costly. Once you pick your place to park, which can be a truck stop, an on or off ramp of an interstate, a receiver or shippers property, or any place you can fit a truck and trailer without breaking any rules; then you shut down and shower and eat, and/or shut down and call home and hit the sack." (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/11/truck-driver-salary-life-on-road)

4) "I get paid 40 cents a mile." (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/11/truck-driver-salary-life-on-road)

5)* As of 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites $38,200 as the median salary of truck drivers. (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm)

Considering the negative effects research are finding about desk job occupations, I wonder what official research has to say about behind-the-wheel jobs. Think of the stress, the race against the clock and being alone for extended amounts of time. Let's all take a pledge to be kind to truckers this month (i.e., don't cut them off, honk at them, curse at them, etc). Deal? Deal!

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