Professional Driving – How Driving For A Living Can Affect Your Health, You May Be Surprised

August 3, 2012 0 Comments

Have you ever stopped for long enough to consider some of the health issues that may associated with driving for a living, or even driving a great deal for work?

Aside from the risks and dangers associated with their mobile working environment, drivers are also confronted with health damaging effects of their job’s nature. In one research study it was found out that 0.1% of car driving accidents are caused by health problems. Of this figure, 10-25% are heart related disorders.

According to research, people who drive for a living are more prone to suffer from a wide range of illnesses including gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and respiratory disorders than people who drive less often. Compared to other people of their age, drivers are more likely to be diagnosed with bowel and lung cancers due to their unhealthy lifestyle.

People who engage in trucking are highly exposed to high levels of air pollutants which can create drastic damage to their health. For instance, diesel fuels contain carcinogenic properties and emit carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides which are proven to have negative impacts to a person’s respiratory functions.

Carbon monoxide can actually reduce the level of oxygen delivered to the tissues, especially the myocardium. Furthermore, these substances are directly associated with the occurrence of bronchitis, asthma and other conditions such as sore eyes, ear problems and headaches.

It is claimed that prolonged exposure to noise can actually increase the level of blood pressure which influences an individual’s risk for cardiovascular disorders. Also, vibration which can be derived in fork lift truck operation and driving create severe effects on the arterial intima which can cause adverse effects to the functions of the cardiovascular system.

Aside from the environmental hazards and risks which drivers have to face regularly, they also need to deal with the effects of observing an unhealthy and non-conducive lifestyle while on duty. Long term driving can trigger substantial physical changes in the body.

These include changes in vision, attention, reaction time, coordination, strength, flexibility and hearing. These changes may drastically affect one’s driving ability which when left unaddressed can lead to major road accidents.

A person’s eyesight and peripheral vision decline with age. Through time, some drivers are diagnosed with eye disorders including macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataract. These conditions can affect the driver’s ability to drive at night and see to the side. When left untreated, these conditions can increase the risk of crashes.

Moreover, long hours of driving regularly can trigger the accumulation of environmental, physical, nutritional and emotional stresses. Over-exposure to these stresses can actually increase one’s risk for cardiovascular diseases.

Environmental stresses are normally caused by too much traffic, too many accidents, traffic jams, inadequate lanes and highways, as well as poisonous toxins such as lead and carbon monoxide produced by vehicles.

Long term driving can also trigger the onset of headaches, backaches and illness. It can cause nutritional stresses due to poor diet which may trigger nutrient insufficiency. Drivers spent most of their time on the roads, thus they are less likely to get adequate amount of food in appropriate times.

Unlike other groups of workers who can go home to take their dinner or lunch on time, drivers are more likely to succumb to a diet which contains high levels of carbohydrates and fats. Furthermore, there are higher chances that their intake of salads, fibres and fresh fruits are reduced. This can significantly contribute to poor health.

According to surveys, most drivers are smokers. Undeniably, cigarette smoking has huge drastic impact to the health of humans. It is one of the major factors that aggravate many fatal health conditions including hypertension, respiratory disorders and lung cancer.

Furthermore, posture in driving exerts certain amount of force in the spine which in the long run, can trigger the development of many musculoskeletal disorders including pulled muscles, neck problems, general stiffness and backaches.

Reclining or sitting for long hours create tremendous impact to a human’s body. In fact, aside from diet, it is one of the most common factors that can trigger the formation of kidney stones. Continuous driving during hot weather while suffering from fatigue may actually trigger kidney stone relapse.

Many serious health conditions are caused by long term driving. It is important to seek out treatment whenever diagnosed with certain illnesses as it doesn’t just put the driver’s life into danger, it can also put other drivers at risk. Traffic police recommend driving for not more than 4 hours and frequent rest should be observed. Also, drivers should drink plenty of water while on the roads.

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