If commercial truck drivers are diagnosed with sleep apnea, they also have a much higher risk of heart disease. In this demanding role, keeping a healthy heart isn’t always the easiest. As a commercial truck driver, they must navigate traffic, delays, and other stressful circumstances. They also find themselves behind the wheel for hours on end — often resulting in limited physical exercise which can lead to high blood pressure.
It’s important that truckers, especially those with sleep apnea, take preventative measures to fight high blood pressure and heart disease to keep themselves healthy.
Steps to Prevent Heart Disease
Many factors can majorly impact the health of a truck driver, putting them at a much higher risk for heart disease if preventative measures aren’t taken. Here are a few ways truckers can reduce the risk of heart disease:
A study was done by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that found 51% of long-haul truckers were smokers. Smoking is a major contributor to health issues — increasing the likelihood of developing heart disease two to four times! While the health risks of smoking are common knowledge, truckers aren’t always aware of their increased risks because of the other factors that impact their health. By limiting the number of cigarettes a trucker smokes or quitting altogether, they reduce their chances of developing heart disease.
Get 8 Hours of Sleep
Because of their sleeping situation, which is often inside their truck, many truckers get a poor night’s sleep. Poor sleep has a direct correlation to major health issues like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. To ensure the commercial truck driver is getting an adequate amount of sleep each night, they should use blackout curtains to make their cabins dark, limit their use of electronics before bed, and get in some form of physical activity throughout the day.
Improve Their Diet
Being on the road day in and day out makes it increasingly difficult to find a well-balanced meal. As a result, many truck drivers find themselves eating fast food regularly. These high-calorie meals are often chalked full of processed carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and added sugars. By eating these meals daily, truckers often find themselves overweight and on the path to developing health problems like heart disease. Improving their diet and opting to eat healthy, nutrient-dense meals can set them on the right path for a healthier life.
A trucker’s job requires them to sit behind the wheel for hours on end — leaving very little time for them to get any sort of physical exercise. A lack of exercise coupled with smoking and poor eating habits put most truckers on the fast track to heart disease. As a trucker, they must get physical exercise each day. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy like a long run or a HIIT circuit, but can be something as simple as going on a 10-minute walk every time they make a stop. Finding ways to add in bits of exercise into their schedule will add up and encourage a healthier lifestyle.
ApneaMed Provides Sleep Apnea Testing & CPAP Therapy for Truck Drivers
If you need sleep apnea testing or CPAP therapy equipment as a commercial truck driver, ApneaMed can provide you with everything that you need to start on your journey to improved health. Have questions about ApneaMeds’ at-home sleep apnea test or our sleep apnea treatment equipment? Contact our team to learn more or to schedule a consultation.