Obesity and other risk factors: the national survey of U.S. long-haul truck driver health and injury

Am J Ind Med. 2014 Jun;57(6):615-26. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22293. Epub 2014 Jan 4.


Background: Drivers of heavy and tractor-trailer trucks accounted for 56% of all production and nonsupervisory employees in the truck transportation industry in 2011. There are limited data for illness and injury in long-haul truck drivers, which prompted a targeted national survey.

Methods: Interviewers collected data during 2010 from 1,670 long-haul truck drivers at 32 truck stops across the 48 contiguous United States that were used to compute prevalence estimates for self-reported health conditions and risk factors.

Results: Obesity (69% vs. 31%, P < 0.01) and current smoking (51% vs. 19%, P < 0.01) were twice as prevalent in long-haul truck drivers as in the 2010 U.S. adult working population. Sixty-one percent reported having two or more of the risk factors: hypertension, obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, no physical activity, 6 or fewer hours of sleep per 24-hr period.

Conclusion: Survey findings suggest a need for targeted interventions and continued surveillance for long-haul truck drivers.

Keywords: health; intervention; risk factor; surveillance; survey; truck driver; work practices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Sleep Deprivation / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Transportation*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult