4 Tips on How to Stay Healthy As a Truck Driver

As a truck driver, your job’s adventure may be rewarding; however, the National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Driver Health and Injury shows that a high percentage of American truck drivers are obese due to their job’s static nature and limited physical activity. With extended hours spent sitting in the car seat, only to stop for food from greasy diners, it’s no wonder health issues such as hypertension, diabetes, and sleep apnea are prevalent in truck drivers.

Frequent travel can make taking care of your health challenging. It can lead to delayed medical attention and affect mental health due to stress, isolation, and an irregular sleep schedule, potentially leading to depression and anxiety. So truck drivers must prioritize their well-being and adopt healthy habits to address these health challenges. 

Whether you’re a seasoned driver or just starting your trucking adventure, use the following tips to support your well-being, improve your quality of life, and keep you trucking for years to come.

  1. Seek Regular Medical Check-ups and DMV Physicals

To guarantee a successful journey, you must be in good physical shape. Commercial drivers, such as truck drivers, need regular physical exams to meet specific health standards set according to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).

If you want to keep your commercial driver’s license, you must get a medical certificate from a certified DMV physician to confirm that you are healthy enough to operate a commercial vehicle and meet the health requirements outlined in the regulations. You can find DMV physicals near you to fulfill this requirement by various means, such as contacting local clinics and healthcare providers specializing in occupational medicine or using online directories specifically designed to help drivers locate certified medical examiners in their area. These professionals can offer valuable advice on managing common health concerns that truck drivers face, such as maintaining a healthy diet, managing stress, getting sufficient rest, and incorporating exercise into your routine.

DMV physicals evaluate your physical fitness, vision, hearing, and other essential aspects that impact your ability to drive safely. These exams assess your cardiovascular health, respiratory function, musculoskeletal fitness, and overall physical well-being. By prioritizing regular medical check-ups and DMV physicals, you meet regulatory requirements and take proactive steps to maintain your health as a truck driver. 

  1. Prioritize Proper Ergonomics and Posture

Research suggests that truck drivers have higher musculoskeletal disorder rates than workers in other occupations. Prolonged sitting and poor posture can lead to back pain, neck stiffness, shoulder tension, and other musculoskeletal issues. With 57% of truck drivers reporting experiencing musculoskeletal pain or discomfort, these stats highlight the importance of prioritizing good posture.

Maintaining proper ergonomics and posture while driving is essential for truck drivers’ health because it helps prevent musculoskeletal issues, supports spinal health, enhances blood circulation, reduces fatigue and discomfort, and can get these health benefits by simply utilizing ergonomic accessories.

Truck drivers should adjust their seats to ensure their feet comfortably reach the pedals and their back is supported to maintain proper ergonomics and posture while driving. Sitting upright with relaxed shoulders and using a lumbar support cushion can help keep a natural lower back curve. Positioning the steering wheel at a comfortable height and distance, using ergonomic accessories, taking regular breaks to stretch, staying hydrated, and incorporating exercise and stretching routines can further promote good posture and reduce the risk of discomfort or long-term issues.

  1. Maintain a Balanced Diet and Hydration

Staying hydrated and consuming balanced meals is crucial as a truck driver to support your energy levels, cognitive function, and physical endurance during strict hours on the road. To ensure you get the necessary nutrients, consume various fruits, veggies, whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats daily for a complete healthy meal. 

It’s important to note that only 1 in 10 American adults meet the daily intake of fruits and vegetables recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hydration is equally essential, as dehydration can lead to fatigue, decreased alertness, and poor cognitive function. 

You can maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated by preparing nutritious meals and snacks and choosing healthier options. While on the road, control portion sizes, stay hydrated with regular water intake, limit sugary drinks and caffeine, monitor signs of dehydration, incorporate physical activity during rest breaks, seek out healthy options at truck stops, and consider consulting a registered dietitian for personalized guidance. 

  1. Get Sufficient Rest and Sleep

Getting sufficient rest and sleep is crucial for the health and well-being of truck drivers, as it is vital in maintaining physical and mental alertness on the road. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) studies have shown that driver fatigue contributes to many commercial motor vehicle accidents. Approximately 13% of commercial motor vehicle drivers involved in crashes were deemed fatigued at the time of the incident.

As a truck driver, you may face long hours, irregular schedules, and the pressure to meet tight deadlines, making it challenging to prioritize sleep. However, it’s essential to recognize the risks associated with sleep deprivation and the benefits of adequate rest. To prioritize rest and sleep:

  1. Establish a consistent sleep schedule that aligns with your natural circadian rhythm.
  2. Create a sleep-friendly environment in your truck cabin by blocking out light, reducing noise, and ensuring a comfortable sleeping surface.
  3. Practice good sleep hygiene by avoiding stimulating activities before bed, such as using electronic devices or consuming caffeine.

Getting sufficient rest and sleep can reduce the risk of accidents, improve your cognitive function, and enhance your overall health and job performance as a truck driver.


As a truck driver, your health is a vital factor in ensuring the safety of the American public. The demanding nature of your job requires you to be physically and mentally fit, enabling you to navigate the roads with alertness, precision, and quick reflexes. By prioritizing your well-being, you safeguard your health and contribute to the overall safety of everyone sharing the highways.

PSA: your health is not just an individual concern but essential to ensuring a safer and more efficient transportation system. So, make conscious choices and improve your health, one step at a time!

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