Worker health and wellness Musculoskeletal disorders Trucking Transportation

Majority of truck drivers have musculoskeletal pain, survey results show

man buckling up

Photo: Kali Nine LLC/iStockphoto

Waterloo, Ontario — Nearly 3 out of 5 truck drivers experience musculoskeletal pain or discomfort while on the job, and most factors are “largely modifiable,” according to researchers at the University of Waterloo.

Surveying 107 male drivers at two truck stops in southern Ontario, the researchers gathered physical, individual and organizational information. Findings showed that 61 of the drivers – 57 percent – reported feeling pain or discomfort in the previous 30 days.


“Physical exposures such as awkward postures, repetition, lifting, whole body vibration and prolonged sitting, as well as personal factors such as physical fitness and job satisfaction, are known to be associated with the development of [musculoskeletal disorders],” study co-author Philip Bigelow, a professor in Waterloo’s School of Public Health and Health Systems, said in an Oct. 29 press release. “Since driving a truck involves a variety of these risk factors, programs that address these multiple factors are needed.”

Bigelow points out that a number of larger trucking companies have adopted approaches such as installing seats that reduce vibration and modifying work tasks, as well as encouraging healthy eating and increased exercise.

The researchers said in the release that they “hope that companies with successful programs can act as champions of driver health and wellness to improve working conditions for all truck drivers.”

The study was published online Sept. 5 in the Journal of Transport & Health.

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