Health survey of U.S. long-haul truck drivers: work environment, physical health, and healthcare access

Work. 2013 Jan 1;46(1):113-23. doi: 10.3233/WOR-121553.

Abstract

Objective: While trucking in industrialized nations is linked with driver health afflictions, the role of trucking in U.S. truckers' health remains largely unknown. This paper sheds light on links between the trucking work environment and drivers' physical health.

Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, 316 truckers were enrolled in the Healthy Trucker Survey. Questions included work history, physical and mental health, and healthcare access. PASW 18 was used to examine patterns among factors.

Participants: 316 truckers participated.

Results: Respondents were mainly full-time, long-haul drivers with over 5 years of experience, and who spent over 17 days on the road per month. While almost 75% described their health as good, 83.4% were overweight/obese, 57.9% had sleeping disturbances, 56.3% fatigue, 42.3% musculoskeletal disorders, and about 40% cardiovascular disease concerns. About 33% had no health insurance, 70% had no regular healthcare visits, 24.4% could not afford insurance, and 42.1% took over-the-counter drugs when sick, while 20.1% waited to reach home for medical care. Exercise facilities were unavailable in over 70% of trucking worksites and 70% of drivers did not exercise regularly.

Conclusions: The trucking occupation places drivers at high risk for poor health outcomes. Prospective studies are needed to delve into how continued exposure to trucking influences the progression of disease burden.

Keywords: Long-haul truckers; occupational health; trucking work environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Environment
  • Fatigue / epidemiology
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / economics
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Occupational Health*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Transportation*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Workplace